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Ukraine: The Pro-Kremlin Narrative Still Thrives in the West

The impasse in the Ukrainian offensive over the past two weeks inspired supporters of a compromise with Putin, and gives more importance to the conception of former politicians in line with the “narrative” of the Kremlin.

Stian Jensen, chief of staff of the secretary general of NATO, thus triggered a beautiful storm, Wednesday morning, by estimating that Ukraine could abandon the goal of recovering the regions annexed by Moscow in exchange for membership in NATO. If it was a heavily sponsored trial balloon, it landed in a cactus garden. Shaking an outcry, particularly in Kyiv, this former official of the Atlantic Alliance quickly recognized that his statement was “a mistake”.

Say out loud what some people are thinking quietly

More than a mistake, it is a misinterpretation, believes François Heisbourg, adviser at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Because this unusual exchange of territory against NATO members would mean the recognition of Russia’s annex “by an international community that, almost unanimously, does not recognize what is in Crimea for nine years! »

But Stian Jensen said out loud what many are thinking quietly in the Western Chanceries.

Nicolas Sarkozy

The statements of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy are even more exciting, in a book that will be published on August 22 (“Le Temps des Tempêtes”, volume II, published by the Observatory) and in an interview with “Figaro Magazine” . He believes that Ukraine, “a link between West and East” and a “vocation of a bridge”, must remain neutral, especially because “Russians are Slavs”. “Surprisingly simplistic remarks, which seem to be taken from a book ‘War in Ukraine for dummies’ or from the commercial cafe”, squeaks a geopolitical specialist.

“Ukraine as a gateway country is the story of all the Western relays of influence in Moscow, he specified, but since when should geography prohibit a people from taking care of its security and economic interests?? Are the people’s rights for self-determination talk to him? »

When Nicolas Sarkozy denounces “the pressure of the countries of Eastern Europe”, or affirms that “we must not ask Ukraine to choose between Europe and Russia”, the same analyst points out: “No one imposed this choice on Ukraine! It is Ukrainian those who decided to turn to the West in front of a country that is threatening them and has been encompassing its territory for almost nine years, today they are ravaging their cities and committing war crimes.

What security arrangements are credible?

Nicolas Sarkozy also advocates a “compromise” with Vladimir Putin, accompanied by “an international agreement that provides very strong security assurances to protect Kyiv against any risk of new aggression”. “It is exactly the system that was in force”, and in particular the memorandum in Budapest, “before the invasion, with the frank success that we know”, squeaks François Heisbourg.

The former head of state also proposed “an indisputable referendum […] endorse the current state of affairs” in Crimea. nonetheless, no honest vote has ever been organized in a territory invaded by a Russian army… “All this is surprising from the leader who, shortly after the invasion in Georgia in 2008, sold the Moscow carrier. Mistral helicopters, if they had. delivered to the Russian fleet, would have facilitated the invasion of Ukraine “, observes François Heisbourg.

A Russian influence

Jérôme Poirot, former deputy coordinator of intelligence at the Elysée Palace under Sarkozy’s presidency, criticized the “disgraceful remarks” of a man who “has no retrospect of what he did in 2008 and has no idea of ​​what happened for eighteen months “.

The majority MP, Nathalie Loiseau, deplores “the dependence of a part of the European political class on the opinion of Vladimir Putin”, while his Belgian colleague, Guy Verhofstadt, asks if they “laugh or cry at the statement by Nicolas Sarkozy.

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