By Alexander Miller, for Eurasia Business News – February 26, 2022
View on the Eiffel Tower in Paris and on the Russian Spiritual and Cultural Orthodox Center, Quai Branly, Paris. Photo credit : Eurasia Business News, 2021.
France decided on Saturday evening to deliver more military equipment to Ukraine and to strengthen economic and financial sanctions against Russia, at a time when the economic consequences of the war raging in Ukraine worry the French political leaders.
During a defense council held in the evening and gathered around French president Emmanuel Macron, it was decided to deliver additional “defense equipment” to the Ukrainian authorities as well as “fuel support“, reported the Elysée palace.
The French economic sanctions will be reinforced “in coordination with the Europeans and the Americans“. Paris decided to take “national measures to freeze the financial assets of Russian personalities“, and finally “new measures“, to be taken “with European partners concerning the SWIFT banking payment system“.
The French Defense Council has also taken “measures to combat propaganda from Russian influencers and media on European soil“.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who is presiding over the European Union for six months, spoke by telephone before this council with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, then the Moldovan presidents Maïa Sandu and the Georgian presidents Salomé Zourabichvili, whom he assured of his “determination” to “defend the sovereignty and the security” of these two former Soviet republics.
Emmanuel Macron had previously insisted on Saturday morning that the conflict in Ukraine “will last” and “we must prepare for it”.
“There is no need to panic, but we are preparing for all the hypotheses and in particular that which consists in supporting the sectors impacted by the sanctions“, confirmed the French Prime Minister Jean Castex.
Emmanuel Macron, who had to postpone his declaration of candidacy to elections again due to the international context, as the deadline of March 4 approaches, promised to support French farmers “in terms of income“, and the French “on the impacts in inevitably in terms of costs“.
Any sanctions against Russia could impact the gas supplies to Western Europe. Moscow could reduce supplies and strengthen the surge in energy prices.
Being the main component of inflation in the euro area, energy experienced the highest annual rate in January 2022 (28.6%, compared to 25.9% in December 2021).
The French President also spoke on February 26 with Aleksandr Lukashenka, the President of the Republic of Belarus. Emmanuel Macron warned about the seriousness of a decision which would consist in authorizing Russia to deploy nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.
The French President asked the President of Belarus to demand as soon as possible the withdrawal of Russian troops from his territory, which help to carry out military peration in Ukraine. The French leader also stressed the need to cooperate with the international community to conduct humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people.
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