Russia remains major power that cannot be ignored: French PM
The French Prime Minister says the President opted for continuing the dialogue with his Russian counterpart.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne considered on Monday that Russia continues to be a major power that cannot be ignored, stressing that dialogue with the country continues.
At a meeting of the National Assembly dedicated to the situation in Ukraine, Borne said that "Russia continues to be a major power that will not cease to be our neighbor tomorrow, we cannot ignore it. The future will be decided at the table of negotiations, not on the battlefield. Therefore, the President of the Republic chose to continue the dialogue with the Russian president."
Borne: Western sanctions "suffocating" Russian economy
However, Borne claimed that Western sanctions against Russia are "suffocating" the Russian economy and should not be abandoned.
"Our objective has been the same from the start: making the cost of the war unbearable for Russia, hitting its economy hard to prevent it from financing its offensive," the French Prime Minister told the National Assembly.
"Moscow is trying to keep up its illusion. But the facts are there. Russian propaganda shouldn't fool us. The Russian economy is suffocating," she claimed.
Borne said that "abandoning the sanctions would be abandoning Ukraine. It would be giving up on our values. It would be submitting to Russia. France, patriotism, means not abandoning, not giving up, not submitting."
"These sanctions, whether those who conceal their fascination for Russian imperialism with claims of patriotism like it or not, are working," she added.
The Prime Minister also announced that households hosting Ukrainian refugees would receive a state payout starting in late November.
It is noteworthy that in early September, French President Emmanuel Macron underlined during a speech to French ambassadors at the Elysee presidential palace that France should do everything to ensure that Ukraine and Russia return to the table of negotiations as soon as both sides are ready to do so.
Macron noted that a respectful dialogue with Russia is effective and allows it to achieve results.
But the French President also considered that "we cannot let Russia militarily win the war," setting the goal of enabling Ukraine to either win militarily or putting it in a strong position to achieve "a negotiated peace."
He stressed that "we must get prepared for a long war," adding that this would involve rising tensions over Ukraine’s nuclear plants.
On the other hand, French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen considered in mid-September that the centrist government made a "geopolitical mistake" when it backed the European Union’s ill-conceived sanctions against Russia.
Le Pen, who finished second in this spring’s presidential race, indicated that the government was "swept along by the European Union crazed by the war in Ukraine into adopting inappropriate and thoughtless sanctions."
40% of French population in favor of anti-Russian sanctions
With only 40% of the French population in favor of the anti-Russian sanctions, the most recent Elabe poll revealed that support for anti-Russian sanctions is on the decline across France.
The poll showed that 32% of French people believed that anti-Russia sanctions must be restricted to diminish their effect on the livelihoods of the French people.
However, a staggering 27%, more than half of those who support sanctions against Russia, have stated that they are against economic sanctions altogether.
Since 2021, energy costs, across the EU, have been rising as part of a global trend. Fuel costs have skyrocketed since the start of the war in Ukraine and the adoption of various multiple sanction packages against Moscow by the West, prompting several European countries to take emergency measures.