President of “Arise, France!” stresses the need for a united Europe
This article originally appeared at Valdai International Discussion Club
President of the Gaullist party “Arise, France!”(DLF) Nicolas Dupont-Aignan spoke to the State Duma at the invitation of Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov.
Mr Dupont-Aignan emphasized that the silent majority of French people believe in the durability of Franco-Russian relations and rejects the manipulative policy aimed at pitting our great nations against each other.
Gaullists are fighting for the fundamental and fragile principle that underlies the international order and is enshrined in the UN Charter – the right of nations to self-determination. The French people have exercised this right since the victory in the battle waged by Gen. Charles de Gaulle against the Nazi occupiers. But it is essential to recognize that other nations, including Russians, also enjoy this right.
It is a grim irony of history that Russians had the courage to peacefully end the Soviet empire and restore their national genius, whereas other European nations have taken the wrong road and are pushing more states onto it via the European community – a supranational and anti-democratic entity that has nothing to do with the wonderful idea of European rapprochement that emerged after two world wars. This is the Europe – extending from the Atlantic to the Ural – that Gen. de Gaulle dreamt about.
The EU has resorted to lies and manipulation to thwart by force East-West reconciliation, split the continent by provoking pointless quarrels between neighbors and kin, and reaffirmed Europe’s complete impotence to address global challenges.
Speaking about Ukraine, Mr. Dupont-Aignan said it is necessary to stand strong against the instigators. He expressed support for the Minsk agreements, which will make it possible to quickly find a way out of this deadlock. Ukraine should become neutral (that is, it should not be fully subordinated by NATO) and federal at the same time. This is the only way of preserving its national unity in the east. It is also essential to carry out a package of measures – holding free elections as soon as possible, full prisoner exchange, amnesty and an end to sanctions. And no matter what Brussels says on this score, France should abandon sanctions as soon as possible and comply with its commitments by supplying Russia with Mistrals – symbols of appropriate bilateral cooperation.
Although the disorder in Ukraine is decidedly political, there is also an economic aspect. Apart from having bad consequences for both France and Russia, this squabbling over Ukraine is playing into the hands of Europe’s rivals.
Such are the results of the diplomacy of the so-called European Union, which does not represent Europeans, who are locked in a fight with no clear way out. China is using this predicament on the economic front, while some US officials are pouring more gas on the fire by reviving old fears of the Soviet threat and the Berlin Wall.
Gen. De Gaulle was not hostile towards the United States. He simply insisted with good reason that France be treated as an equal and with due respect for its independence. Europeans have long become self-sufficient adults who can figure out what is best for them. We also need more unity of views among the great European countries, such as Germany, Britain and Italy that can unblock the required loans for the sake of their own security outside NATO.
The challenge confronting the Europeans is clear: will they allow China and the United States to dominate in the 21st century or will they manage to develop some kind of cooperation project with a view to the future, and assert their own views and interests?
To build this new world, the future Europe will badly need France and Russia, these two great states that will have their say and accomplish much together.