In an interview granted to “Figaro Magazine” last week, the former President of the Republic Nicolas Sarkozy considered that Ukraine should remain “neutral”, and pleaded for the organization of a referendum “to ratify the state of current fact” on Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. Several leading political figures reacted virulently to these remarks against the official line of France. Among them, the former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, who signs this Saturday August 26 a platform in “Le Figaro”.
For the former head of government (1997-2002), Nicolas Sarkozy’s approach is “openly pro-Russian”. “It is serious to see a former President of the French Republic […] adopt the thesis and serve the interests of the aggressor country of a people of which we declare ourselves the friend”, denounces Lionel Jospin, who regrets that the ex-head of state formulates “no word of compassion or solidarity, even less of support or praise” with regard to Ukraine and that his “concern” goes “to Russia”.
Lionel Jospin also denounces the “cruel irony” of the formula “bridge between Europe and Russia” used by Nicolas Sarkozy to evoke the supposed natural vocation of Ukraine.
“The challenge today is not to say whether Ukraine should one day join the European Union or NATO, but to help this nation to remain sovereign and free. »
Lionel Jospin adds that he would like to “know the reaction of the Republicans (LR), which Nicolas Sarkozy led yesterday” and says he “appreciated the recent expression of former President François Hollande”.
Hollande and Macron distance themselves
François Hollande had criticized the remarks of his predecessor on Thursday, during a seminar ahead of the PS summer days, recalling that “there were already security guarantees granted to Ukraine at the time of [his] independence. noting that, “when referendums are held on Russian territory, there is always the same result.” While Nicolas Sarkozy defends “diplomacy, discussion, exchange” with Vladimir Putin, François Hollande believes that the head of the Kremlin “has made war his ideology”. “It is the war that gives it its legitimacy […]. He needs war, aggression, offensive”, so “this negotiation proposal cannot hold”, he judged.
On Wednesday, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron had already distanced himself from Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech. “I want to say it here once again in front of you, by your side, very clearly: France recognizes neither Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories nor the results of the sham elections that have been organised”, declared the Head of State in a video message.
This article is originally published on .nouvelobs.com