Jean-Yves Le Drian did not use diplomatic language, usually civilized, to talk about Russia on Tuesday. This country is a neighbor “sometimes horrifying, sometimes unbearable, sometimes quite reprehensible”, declared the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Despite everything, we must try to keep a long-term relationship with Russia, keep channels of discussion”, underlined the head of the French diplomacy, questioned on the detention of the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny, before the commission of foreign affairs of the National Assembly. “We will not give up this ambition because it is our neighbor”, he defended.
According to the minister, it is therefore necessary “to try to find, to keep the links which are necessary while being very firm on the condemnations of actions such as that carried out against Mr. Navalny”. Russia shows a “very serious authoritarian drift,” reiterated Jean-Yves Le Drian in reference to the fate of the main opponent of President Vladimir Poutine and to the repression of demonstrations calling for his release.
United States considering sanctions
The 27 member states of the European Union have adopted sanctions against four senior Russian officials involved in the legal proceedings against Alexeï Navalny and in the crackdown against his supporters. “Sanctions are not a rattle (…) This forbids [à ceux qui sont visés] travel within the EU and have access to their own assets if placed in the EU. It’s not nothing, ”assured Jean-Yves Le Drian, while many wonder about their effectiveness.
Above all, on this point, the European Union should soon be given a little more support. According to the CNN channel, which relies on two sources close to the American presidency, the United States is also preparing to impose sanctions.