“According to our interests and values, let’s support the Ukrainians until victory”
FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – MP Renaissance calls for France to strengthen military support to Ukraine, as well as humanitarian aid to this country. He adds that this support will, among other things, strengthen our credibility vis-à-vis Moscow and the trust of our European partners.
Benjamin Haddad is the MP for Paris, spokesman for Renaissance and president of the French-Ukrainian friendship group in the National Assembly.
Ukrainians celebrated the New Year under a barrage of Russian missiles, cutting off electricity or water to many residents across the country. The purpose of this new war crime against civilians is to demoralize Ukrainians. As I saw in Kiev last week, it is not. The determination of the Ukrainians to resist and take back all their territory is complete.
After the success of the counteroffensive in Kherson, the Ukrainians hope to launch operations in the direction of Zaporizhzhia and Melitopol, which will allow them to regain access to the Sea of Azov and cut Russian territorial continuity between Crimea and Donbass. However, Ukrainian officials fear even a major new ground offensive toward Kiev with the expected arrival of 200,000 Russian reservists.
The coming months of the war will be decisive and will require Europeans to make renewed efforts to support Ukraine. Vladimir Putin underestimated the resistance of Ukrainians, as well as the mobilization of Westerners. Today, his only hope is to see this mobilization weaken and fatigue prevail in the minds of the people.
France can play a key role in ensuring the unity and mobilization of Europeans in 2023.
President Macron’s decision this week to supply Ukraine with AMX10-RC light tanks, followed by similar steps by the US and Germany, is a big and positive step in Western aid to Ukraine.” Ukraine. France is the first country to supply Kiev with Western-designed tanks, both symbolic and concrete, to help the Ukrainians in the upcoming land battles.
Make no mistake: there is no direct, magical path to peace as long as Russia occupies Ukrainian territory. In international politics, as Raymond Aron has warned, the choice is not between good and evil, but between “superiority and abomination.” The war will continue. An artificial ceasefire imposed on Ukrainians from the outside will be considered by the Russian aggressor as a confirmation of its territorial gains and a signal of the West’s weakness. It would only be a truce used by Moscow to restore its military health and prepare for a new offensive.
France can play a key role in ensuring the unity and mobilization of Europeans in 2023. This week’s decision will greatly contribute to this. Despite the stubborn self-defamation campaign, we are at the forefront of the countries that support Ukraine. According to the reference ranking of the Kiel Institute, France is the third largest financial aid provider to Ukraine.
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At the military level, before the delivery of tanks, France provided quality weapons, such as the famous Caesar weapons, which ensured the recapture of the Snake Island or Crotale surface-to-air systems. France is also one of the first contributors to the European Peace Fund, an EU fund that other Europeans use to finance their arms purchases. Finally, Paris has created an innovative fund worth 200 million euros, thanks to which Ukrainians can place orders directly with our defense manufacturers. The visit of the Minister of Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu in Christmas made it possible to clarify the military needs of Ukraine in the coming months and issue the first orders under the fund: spare parts for the maintenance of Caesars, gm200 radars, bridges. floats and maybe new Caesar Balls soon. The Franco-German summit on January 22 could be an opportunity to push Berlin towards new supplies, especially as Kyiv hopes for the arrival of German Leopard tanks.
As we face this war, our values and interests converge. We defend the right of neighboring people to live freely in order to restore order and stability on our continent.
This increased military support is not incompatible with dialogue with Russia, on the contrary. Let us rediscover the realism in foreign policy that our continent has long forgotten: diplomacy is based on the balance of power. Continuing to play a leading military role will strengthen our credibility with Moscow and the trust of our European partners, especially in Central and Northern Europe. It was by combining the use of force and direct diplomacy with Serbian leader Milosevic that the Americans, under the leadership of their ambassador Richard Holbrooke, were able to end the war in Bosnia with the Dayton Agreement in 1995.
In addition to this military support, there is also economic and humanitarian assistance. Under the auspices of the President of the Republic, a major international conference on the resilience of civil society in December made it possible to allocate more than a billion in emergency aid to face the challenges of winter and involve the “unconnected”. countries have been far from these approaches until now. With this conference, as well as with President Macron’s diplomacy on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant or agricultural exports, France has shown itself to be a real initiative force operating on all fronts.
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As we face this war, our values and interests converge. We defend the right of neighboring people to live freely in order to restore order and stability on our continent. We also send a message of deterrence against further such aggressions from Russia or other revisionist powers in the future. But European leadership is also at risk through support for Ukraine. This war confirms the relevance of many of the battles that France has waged in Europe for years: rearmament and military cooperation, energy independence. In order to convince our partners to adopt common policies, it is important to demonstrate that we respond to their concerns and protect them. As the Americans looked to the Pacific, France could become a major force in postwar Europe, reconciled to power and sovereignty. The struggle for this Europe is being waged in Ukraine today.
SEE ALSO – The Westerners are afraid of being perceived as allies of Ukraine by providing them with certain weapons.