War in Ukraine: how the French executive reacts after the outbreak of the conflict

Jacques Serais, edited by Solène Leroux with AFP
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12:40 p.m., February 24, 2022

The Russian Army enters Ukraine, trapped at its borders. Explosions heard all the way to Kiev, airbases destroyed. Ukrainian border guards announce the first death. Vladimir Putin launched the offensive at dawn, the start of a war strongly condemned by Emmanuel Macron. The French president convened a defense council at the Élysée this morning at 9 a.m. Emmanuel Macron had Volodymyr Zelensky around 8 a.m. this morning on his cell phone. During this telephone exchange, the Ukrainian president described the situation and “asked for multiple interventions to support Ukraine”, reports the Elysée.

Volodymyr Zelensky asked “to unite in Europeans”. Emmanuel Macron then assured him of all the support and solidarity of France, explains the Elysée. Emmanuel Macron, who in a statement, “strongly condemns Russia’s decision to wage war on Ukraine” and calls on Moscow to “immediately end its military operations”.

Many ongoing consultations

Faced with this situation, “the consultation between partners and allies will be intense all day”, underlined the Elysée. The Head of State will participate this afternoon at 3 p.m. in a meeting of the G7 by videoconference, before going to Brussels this evening for an extraordinary European Council. Before that, he spoke with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, according to the Élysée. A crisis which, obviously, upsets the political agenda today. Prime Minister Jean Castex has canceled his planned trip to Angers today.

This worsening of the crisis comes after weeks of mobilization by Emmanuel Macron to attempt a diplomatic solution, in particular with a visit to Moscow, where he met for more than five hours with Vladimir Putin, and to Kiev. While France chairs the EU Council in the first half of the year, the Head of State has also multiplied exchanges with other European leaders, such as the German Olaf Scholz, and Western leaders such as the American Joe Biden.

The Foreign Affairs Committee convened

According to information from the political service of Europe 1, in Paris at the same time, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly will be convened. “The parliamentarians of the Foreign Affairs Committee will take care to be present, to debate together what is all the same the most serious crisis in international history since undoubtedly the Second World War, in any case since the crisis of Cuba”, assures the microphone of Europe 1 Jean-Louis Bourlanges, president MoDem of this commission.

According to him, “it is normal for the parliamentary representation to take hold of such a dramatic situation and meet to possibly adopt resolutions”. This meeting must take place in the “coming hours”, “either this evening in a night session, or tomorrow morning”, said Jean-Louis Bourlanges.

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