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“We must speak Russia’s language of power balance”, says French FM

Séjourné stressed the importance of speaking to Moscow in its own terms, emphasizing the need for a strong stance against increasing Russian aggression.
“We must speak Russia's language of power balance”, says French FM
French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné. Photo: Stéphane Séjourné via X/Twitter
“We must speak Russia’s language of power balance”, says French FM

In an interview with La Tribune du dimanche, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné stated that France must speak to Russia in its own language, that of the “balance of power,” and not set limitations on how it supports Ukraine as Moscow becomes increasingly aggressive.

“We need to speak the same language as Russia, that of the balance of power. We are very naive to think that we should set our own prohibitions, while it is Russia that violates international law. History has shown us that when countries allow an imperialist nation that considers itself to have no borders to dictate their foreign policy, we risk a global conflagration,” Séjourné asserted.

The minister believes that standing up to Russia means protecting the French people and preserving peace, which he considers to be true patriotism.

Séjourné emphasized that all Europeans and all of Ukraine’s allies agree on the necessity to do more and do better for Ukraine. 

“After two years of war, Russia has become more and more aggressive towards us. And on the front, there are concerns both about long-term support and Ukraine’s ability to hold out,” he noted.

Despite some differences, Séjourné highlighted the unity between France and Germany, stating that a consensus exists on 80% of the topics discussed during the February 26 meeting at the Elysée Palace. These topics included ammunition supplies, cyber warfare, accelerating industrial cooperation, and protecting countries in difficulty, such as Moldova.

Drawing from historical lessons, Séjourné warned against the pitfalls of appeasement and weakness. 

“History gives us some examples of the impasse of strategies of retreat and weakness. Those who, in May 1939, did not want to die for Danzig only stimulated Hitler. While I think that History doesn’t repeat itself, we must not repeat the mistakes of History,” he cautioned.

Looking ahead to the upcoming debates on Ukraine in the French parliament on 12 March, Séjourné expects a “broad consensus.”

“Obviously, no one wants us to go to war against Russia and the Russian people, and it is also by supporting Ukraine, as we are doing today, that we can best protect the French against this risk,” Séjourné concluded.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine “cannot be ruled out,” later clarifying that his words were carefully considered.

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