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09:11, January 23, 2022
Tension is rising on the border between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities accuse the country of Vladimir Putin of preparing a military attack. If the Kremlin refutes these accusations, the Russian authorities nevertheless affirm their opposition to seeing Ukraine enter the NATO military alliance. For the former French ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, this situation could lead to “a war on the European continent”. This is what he said on Sunday at the microphone of Jean-Pierre Elkabbach.
The example of the war in Yugoslavia
“I’m sure a lot of young listeners don’t understand because they think war is impossible in Western Europe,” added the diplomat, who recalls that despite the European Union, armed conflicts have already broken out by the pass. “I deeply believe that war is possible on our continent, and we saw it elsewhere in Yugoslavia, we saw what happened two hours by plane from Paris”, underlined Gérard Araud, making reference to a military conflict that took place in the 1990s. “War can come back”, he added on Europe 1.
The former French ambassador to the United States also underlined the role of European construction. “We have built the European Union, which is a way of transferring conflicts from the battlefields to the corridors of Brussels, which is infinitely more peaceful,” he explained, while warning. “But you have to be careful. There are a lot of conflicts in Europe, within our borders, that can come back,” he continued, recalling that the conflict in Yugoslavia had caused the death of tens of thousands of people. .
The dialogue of the deaf between Europe and Russia
The best way to avoid entering into a new armed conflict remains dialogue, said Gérard Araud. “Russia is a European country, it is a country with which we must speak,” he said, “but as the Americans say, it takes two to tango,” added the diplomat, who pointed to a difficult conversation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia. “The Russians still have to be willing to negotiate. Emmanuel Macron has met Putin several times to try to start a dialogue. But the Russians, obviously, either have unacceptable aims or only want to talk to the Americans”, estimated the diplomat on Europe 1.