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Macron pledges ‘unequivocal’ support for Ukraine

The upcoming election in France could bring a victory for the far-right, thus upending the country’s foreign policy

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday reassured NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Paris is determined to “unequivocally” help Ukraine “in the long term.” 

Stoltenberg was visiting the French capital in preparation for the NATO summit in Washington next month. According to the military bloc’s chief, more support to Ukraine is NATO’s “most urgent task.” 

Macron’s reassurance comes as France could soon find itself with a new prime minister who is less supportive of the EU’s and NATO’s policy of aiding Kiev in its conflict with Russia.

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France is heading for legislative elections next week, and if the right-wing National Rally (NR) wins, Macron is expected to offer the job of prime minister to Jordan Bardella, the current RN leader. The NR handed Macron’s party a resounding defeat in the European Parliament elections earlier this month.

“Our support for Ukraine remains and will remain constant and we will continue to mobilize to respond to Ukraine’s immediate needs, to convey the message of our unequivocal determination to stand alongside the Ukrainians in the long term,” Macron said.

His comments came after France’s Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu suggested that the snap elections could affect the country’s defense cooperation with its European allies.

“Political formations will be sending out a message: either one of withdrawal, weakening France’s position in the world… or a message of clarity,” Politico quoted Lecornu as saying during a meeting with his German and Polish counterparts Boris Pistorius and Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz.

The popularity of Macron, who’s been one of the staunchest supports of the Ukrainian leadership in its conflict with Russia, has tumbled in recent months. Opinion polls indicating that Macron’s party is lagging far behind the NR.

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Bardella said on Monday that if he becomes prime minister, he will not send troops or long-range missiles to Ukraine. He described such moves as “very clear red lines.” 

In February, Macron said he would not rule out the possibility of deploying troops to Ukraine. Last month, the French leader announced that the country’s weapons sent to Ukraine, including long-range missiles, could be used to hit targets deep inside Russia.

June 25, 2024 at 05:53PM

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