Statement of the G7 Foreign Ministers in support of the IAEA´s efforts to promote Nuclear Safety and Security at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine
August 10, 2022
We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and the High Representative of the European Union, reiterate our strongest condemnation of the ongoing unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The Russian Federation must immediately withdraw its troops from within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and respect Ukraine’s territory and sovereignty.
In that context, we demand that Russia immediately hand back full control to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine, of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant as well as of all nuclear facilities within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders to ensure their safe and secure operations. Ukrainian staff operating the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant must be able to carry out their duties without threats or pressure. It is Russia’s continued control of the plant that endangers the region.
We remain profoundly concerned by the serious threat that the seizure of Ukrainian nuclear facilities and other actions by Russian armed forces pose to the safety and security of these facilities, significantly raising the risk of a nuclear accident or incident and endangering the population of Ukraine, neighboring states and the international community. It also undermines the IAEA’s ability to monitor Ukraine’s peaceful nuclear activities for safeguarding purposes.
We welcome and support IAEA Director General Grossi’s efforts to strengthen nuclear safety and security in Ukraine and we thank the Director General and the IAEA staff for their steadfast commitment in this regard. Against this background, we underline the importance of facilitating a mission of IAEA experts to the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant to address nuclear safety, security and safeguard concerns, in a manner that respects full Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure. We strongly endorse the importance of the Seven Pillars of Nuclear Safety and Security as outlined by Director General Grossi.
We reiterate our full and continued support for the IAEA. IAEA staff must be able to access all nuclear facilities in Ukraine safely and without impediment, and engage directly, and without interference, with the Ukrainian personnel responsible for the operation of these facilities. The safety of all individuals implementing these efforts must be addressed to strengthen nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine.
We encourage all countries to support the IAEA’s efforts.
UK – Telephone conversation between President Macron and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - August 9, 2022)
The French President spoke on the telephone to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today, Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
President Macron and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their determination to support Ukraine as long as necessary and maintain a high level of coordination between partners, to meet the Ukrainians’ military, humanitarian and economic needs.
They also discussed the food crisis caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The two leaders reiterated their support for Europe’s efforts to enable the export of volumes [of cereals] by road and river, as part of the "Solidarity Lanes".
Finally, the President and Prime Minister spoke about strengthening the bilateral relationship between France and the UK.
Reply by Ms. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris - August 2, 2022
We’ve indeed reached a tipping point. A tipping point morally, first of all, because the violence of which Ukraine is victim knows no bounds. The war crimes, atrocities, murders and torture of which Ukrainians, and sometimes Ukrainian prisoners under Russian protection, are victim sadly remind us of this once again, as you said. And a tipping point in terms of security, because the conflict on our doorstep affects our lives. It’s our defence, our food security and our energy security which are at stake.
Up against this reality, for which Vladimir Putin’s Russia is solely responsible, our first duty is to support Ukraine, which is fighting for its sovereignty, its independence and its European, democratic future. But we’ve also got to defend an international order based on the law and respect for the UN Charter, which concerns us all.
Our commitment rests on four pillars. Political, humanitarian and economic support, in concrete terms, amounting to €2 billion from France, €9 billion from the European Union, and candidate status. Military support, with equipment which demonstrates its usefulness on the theatre, for example Caesar self-propelled howitzers and infantry vehicles. The fight against impunity, particularly with what we’re doing with the International Criminal Court. And finally, strict sanctions against Russia to disrupt the financing of its war effort.
We can indeed be proud of this policy – and we are proud of it, collectively, as French people, particularly faced with those who shamefully seek to put victim and oppressor on the same level.
Telephone conversation between President Macron and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic (Paris - August 1, 2022)
The French President spoke on the telephone to the President of Ukraine, Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, today, Monday, August 1, 2022.
A few days after another massacre committed by the Russian armed forces in Olenivka, and with the number of war crimes increasing, President Macron reaffirmed his support for the Ukrainian people and their resistance, and expressed his determination to ensure that those crimes do not go unpunished. Following the dispatch of a team of forensic experts to the site, France is continuing its support in this regard by donating a mobile DNA analysis laboratory.
President Macron asked President Zelenskyy about his military, humanitarian and economic needs. He confirmed France’s willingness to continue supporting the Ukrainian armed forces to enable them to resist Russia’s aggression.
He also spoke again about his visit to Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau last week, during which he firmly denounced the war being waged by Russia in terms of news, in particular on the African continent. The French and Ukrainian Presidents agreed to continue their joint efforts to counter Russian disinformation at global level.
President Macron welcomed the departure from the port of Odesa today of the first ship transporting Ukrainian grain. He added that European efforts to export Ukrainian grain by land and river will continue in the framework of the Solidarity Lanes.
Finally, President Macron confirmed to President Zelenskyy his desire to ensure the provision of short-term macro-economic support for Ukraine and for rebuilding the country.
OSCE – France welcomes the publication of a second independent experts’ report on the war in Ukraine
Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson (July 15, 2022)
France welcomes yesterday’s publication by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of a second independent experts’ report “on Violations of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine (April 1-June 25, 2022)”, under the so-called Moscow Mechanism. The report was launched on the initiative of 45 countries including France, following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
France was deeply concerned to learn of the conclusions of this report, which highlights “serious violations of IHL [international humanitarian law], attributable mostly to Russian armed forces”. The offences described in the report are especially alarming, particularly with regard to allegations that the Russian Federation created “filtration canters” and canters for transferring detainees to the two separatist entities of Donestsk and Luhansk, where they risk the death penalty.
France remains resolutely committed alongside Ukraine, the Ukrainians, its international partners and the international courts to combating impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes. The report’s conclusions will feed into the investigations under way with a view to formally establishing legal and political responsibility for the atrocities committed on Ukrainian territory.
Exceptional delivery of emergency medical assistance by France
Joint press release by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Prevention (June 28, 2022)
At the request of the Ukrainian authorities, the Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, in liaison with the Operational Regulation and Response Center for Health and Social Emergencies (CORRUSS) of the French Ministry of Health and Prevention, Regional Health Agencies and hospitals, has today delivered medical equipment to Ukraine via Slovakia. This equipment will be handed over to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health.
This latest delivery of French support includes a mobile health post with medical equipment and medicines aimed at strengthening emergency facilities and enabling treatment of 250 patients, as well as medical devices used for anesthesia and resuscitation, amongst others.
This operation, carried out under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, is a demonstration of France’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Statement by Ms. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Paris - June 10, 2022
France is extremely worried about news of the death sentence imposed, following a sham trial, on two British nationals and one Moroccan national taken prisoner by pro-Russian separatist forces in Donetsk. These people must be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law. We call on Russia and its auxiliaries in Ukraine to comply with their obligations in this regard.
Statement by Ms. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Paris - June 3, 2022
It has been 100 days since Russia launched its aggression against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. For 100 days, Russia has been continually and indiscriminately bombarding Ukrainian military forces and civilians. France stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their suffering. It has done so not only since 24 February, but since 2014, which saw the illegal annexation of Crimea and the eruption of the conflict in the Donbas. There can be no impunity whatsoever for the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine – in Bucha and other cities.
During my recent visit to Ukraine, I conveyed a message of friendship and admiration to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. I reaffirmed France’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, evidenced by the humanitarian, economic, financial, diplomatic and military aid France provides to that country, which we intend to increase and continue in the long term. The aid announced by President Macron now totals $2 billion, making France one of Ukraine’s leading international supporters.
Ukraine is fighting for its sovereignty and its territorial integrity. We must continue to make the cost of continuing this aggression unsustainable for Russia. France continues to urge Russia to abide by its international commitments, to end its aggression, and to withdraw its armed forces.
Passing of the journalist Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff – Statement by Ms. Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Kyiv - May 30, 2022
The death of Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, a BFM journalist killed today while covering a Ukrainian evacuation operation near Severodonetsk, is deeply shocking. I condemn it and extend our condolences to his family and colleagues.
France demands that a transparent inquiry be launched as soon as possible to shed full light on the circumstances of this tragedy.
France reaffirms its steadfast and resolute commitment, throughout the world, to press freedom and the protection of journalists and all those whose expression contributes to free information and public debate.
Telephone conversation between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine
Paris - May 17, 2022
The French President spoke on the telephone to the President of Ukraine, Mr Volodymyr Zelenskyy, today, Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
President Macron asked President Zelenskyy about the situation on the ground – particularly in Mariupol, with evacuations from the Azovstal factory continuing – and about Ukraine’s needs. He reaffirmed his full determination to meet all the requests for support expressed by Ukraine, particularly in terms of defense materiel, fuel, humanitarian aid, economic and financial support, and to combat impunity. He confirmed that deliveries of weapons by France will continue and be stepped up in the coming days and weeks, as will the delivery of humanitarian equipment. Last weekend, an additional 13 emergency vehicles were delivered, bringing the amount of humanitarian aid delivered since February 24 to more than 800 tonnes.
They discussed the challenge of food security, and in this regard they spoke about possible ways of allowing Ukrainian cereal exports, on which much of the world depends for its food.
The two presidents also discussed the security guarantees France could provide to Ukraine in the framework of an international agreement, to ensure that the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected.
President Macron also confirmed to President Zelenskyy that Ukraine’s application to join the European Union will be considered at the European Council in June on the basis of the opinion the European Commission issues, and in the spirit of the declaration at the Versailles summit by all the member countries that Ukraine is part of the European family. Today the President recalled his speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 9 May 2022 and his proposal for a “European political community”, which, among other things, would enable candidate countries to be supported in the framework of cooperation projects of use to all.
Support for the media and journalists in the context of the war in Ukraine
Paris - May 5, 2022
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture welcome the initiative by French media organizations and journalism training centres to support Ukrainian and Russian journalists and media organizations prevented from doing their jobs and forced to leave their countries by the war Russia is waging on Ukraine. The commitment of French media players testifies to their professional solidarity, their desire to defend freedom of information and their contribution to the fight against disinformation.
In the framework of its support fund for welcoming artists and culture and media professionals affected by the war in Ukraine, the Ministry of Culture is supporting the Maison des journalistes in establishing a platform dedicated to journalists and their families: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This address allows them to be directed to offers of accommodation, available studios and equipment, training and support in terms of media placements.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs supports the steps taken by journalists in exile who would like France to take them in and the actions of the French Media Development Agency (CFI) in Europe to welcome these journalists and enable their news activities to continue, particularly within a hub being developed by France Médias Monde in Bucharest, attached to the editorial staff of RFI România.
France – which initiated the Information and Democracy Partnership in 2019, bringing together 45 States today – is deeply and resolutely committed to defending the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists.
Telephone conversation between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris - May 3, 2022
The French President spoke on the telephone to Russian President Vladimir Putin today, Tuesday 3 May 2022. The conversation follows President Macron’s telephone discussion with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 30 April.
President Macron again emphasized the extreme seriousness of the consequences of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
He expressed his deep concern regarding Mariupol and the situation in the Donbas, and called on Russia to allow the evacuations begun in recent days from the Azovstal plant to continue, in coordination with humanitarian bodies and leaving the evacuees to choose their destination, in accordance with international humanitarian law.
He also expressed his willingness to work with the relevant international organizations to help lift the Russian blockade on Ukrainian food exports via the Black Sea, given the consequences on global food security.
The French President called on Russia to live up to its responsibilities as a permanent member of the Security Council and end this devastating aggression.
He signalled his continued readiness to work on conditions for a negotiated solution to bring about peace and full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Finally, President Macron repeated his demand for a ceasefire.
Telephone conversation between Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, and Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris - April 30, 2022
The French President spoke on the telephone to Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, today, Saturday, April 30, 2022.
President Macron reaffirmed to President Zelenskyy his desire to work actively during his second mandate to restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while still maintaining close coordination with his European partners and allies.
The President reiterated his deep concern over the continued Russian bombing of Ukrainian towns and cities, particularly in Kyiv on Thursday during the visits by the United Nations Secretary-General and Bulgarian Prime Minister. He expressed his particular concern over the intolerable situation in Mariupol, despite his repeated appeals to the Russian President to comply with international humanitarian law.
President Zelenskyy thanked France for its deliveries of significant military materiel, which are contributing to the Ukrainian resistance. President Macron said this support will continue to be stepped up, as will the humanitarian assistance France is providing, with more than 615 tonnes of equipment now having been delivered, including medical equipment, generators for hospitals, food aid, shelter assistance and emergency vehicles. He added that at the Ukrainian authorities’ request, the French expert mission helping gather evidence to fight impunity and enable international courts to work on crimes committed as part of Russia’s aggression will continue.
The progress of negotiations to bring about a lasting solution to the conflict and a return to security on the European continent was also discussed. In this regard, President Macron reiterated his commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and France’s willingness to contribute to an agreement providing security guarantees for Ukraine./.
Conversation between Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mr. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
Paris - April 27, 2022
M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke this afternoon to US Secretary of State Mr. Antony Blinken.
The two ministers discussed our close, confident coordination on the war in Ukraine. The Minister recalled the efforts made by France to support Ukraine in terms of defence equipment. The two ministers discussed possible initiatives for further sanctions targeting Russia, given its continued war of aggression against Ukraine. They talked about food security and the FARM initiative promoted by France and the European Union.
The two ministers also discussed the importance of our relationship with the Western Balkans countries and our coordination to ensure that these partners are stable and anchored to Europe in the face of the consequences of the war in Ukraine./.
Conversation between Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Ukrainian counterpart – Statement by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson
April 25, 2022
M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart Mr. Dmytro Kuleba today.
In this new discussion, the 12th this year between the two ministers, the Minister emphasized France’s ongoing strategy in the Ukraine conflict and our determination to continue and deepen France’s support to Ukraine in every sphere. In this respect, the Minister talked about the recent decisions taken by President Macron concerning the supply of defence equipment to the Ukrainian forces, in the artillery field in particular, given Ukraine’s especially significant, urgent needs.
The two ministers also discussed the parameters of stronger European sanctions against Russia, supported by the French presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The two ministers discussed the tragic situation in Mariupol, the target of uninterrupted bombing by Russian forces. The Minister reiterated France’s call for free movement of civilians and free access to humanitarian aid in the city, as in the rest of Ukraine./.
Special delivery of emergency medical aid by France – Joint communiqué issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry for Solidarity and Health
April 21, 2022
At the Ukrainian authorities’ request, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Crisis and Support Centre (CDCS), in conjunction with the Ministry for Solidarity and Health and several French hospitals, is delivering over 28 tonnes of medical equipment to Poland by road. The equipment will subsequently be handed to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, then forwarded to several medical establishments in Ukraine.
This new French shipment includes: an oxygen generator allowing a hospital to treat up to 500 patients using oxygen therapy; 50 sets of respiratory equipment and their consumables for the treatment of several hundred patients; a second batch of respiratory equipment provided by the voluntary organization Antadir, and their consumables provided by the company ResMed; a batch of 4.5 tonnes of medicines (emergency, general practice, paediatrics) enabling up to 500 seriously injured people to be treated, and a second batch of emergency medicines provided by several French hospitals (Nancy regional university hospital, Niort and Lozère hospitals and the René Dubois hospital in Pontoise, with logistical support from the Henri-Mondor university hospitals).
This special delivery includes a high-capacity generator to boost the electricity security of a Ukrainian health facility. Some of the donations were funded through contributions by local authorities and businesses paid into the Ministry’s dedicated support funds.
The Etablissement français du sang [French blood agency] has also provided two lorries delivered by the Crisis and Support Centre in March to collect blood. They are currently being used in Ukraine for the benefit of sick and injured Ukrainians.
These operations, conducted under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), testify to the solidarity of France and its hospitals, local authorities and businesses with the Ukrainian people./.
Telephone conversation of the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs with his counterpart
April 14, 2022
Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke today by telephone with his Ukrainian counterpart, Mr. Dmytro Kuleba.
The Minister informed his Ukrainian counterpart of the French authorities’ decision to move the Embassy of France in Ukraine back to Kyiv from Lviv, where it has been located since the beginning of March. This move will happen shortly and will enable France to broaden its support to Ukraine in all areas to address the war engaged by Russia on 24 February. The Minister welcomed the fact that France’s representation to Ukraine, which has remained in Ukrainian territory since the start of the war, can move back to the Ukrainian capital.
Against this backdrop, the Minister talked about France’s support to Ukraine in the Ukrainian authorities’ investigations, in liaison with international courts, to document and collect evidence about the violent acts committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. The Minister also underlined the continuation of our humanitarian efforts on the ground, including in the areas of food security, civil security and crisis management. Lastly, the two Ministers talked about the support provided by France, in liaison with its allies and partners, in the area of defense equipment, following on from the discussions held the previous day by our two Defense Ministers.
National solidarity with Ukraine: second convoy of vehicles and rescue equipment – Joint communiqué issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior
April 14, 2022
After a first convoy of 27 vehicles was delivered to the Ukrainians on March 26, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior are once again drawing on the solidarity of departmental fire and rescue services.
Thanks to this exceptional and ongoing mobilization, on April 15 a second convoy organized by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior will deliver to Romania response vehicles and equipment that will be provided to Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Service, mobilized day and night to provide relief to victims.
A hundred firefighters, navy firefighters and rescue workers will deliver the vehicles and equipment provided – 12 fire engines and 12 rescue vehicles – to the border with Ukraine on April 15. They will also deliver four lorries carrying 50 tonnes of equipment, in particular for search and rescue (victim-location equipment and drilling, cutting and extrication equipment) and firefighting (protective equipment, hand ladders, fire hoses and equipment for fighting hydrocarbon fires). Some of the equipment was bought with contributions from local authorities and businesses to the dedicated support funds set up by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre.
The operation is being coordinated by the Interior Ministry’s General Directorate for Civil Protection and Crisis Management and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre, in conjunction with our embassy in Ukraine.
These operations, carried out under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), testify to the solidarity of France, its local authorities and businesses with the Ukrainian people.
Joint Communiqué issued by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice
April 11, 2022
Following the discovery of mass acts of violence reported on Ukrainian territory in the areas previously occupied by Russian forces, in the city of Bucha in particular, France is resolutely committed alongside the Ukrainians, its international partners and the international courts to preventing impunity for intolerable acts constituting war crimes.
In accordance with President Macron’s instructions, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice are fully mobilized to lend practical support to the efforts deployed by the Ukrainian authorities and the international courts – the International Criminal Court, among others – as part of the investigations they have begun in the context of the war in Ukraine.
Following the violent acts committed in Bucha, an Interior Ministry technical team tasked with lending the Ukrainian authorities its identification and evidence-gathering expertise arrived in Ukraine this morning. In agreement with the Ukrainian authorities, it will also be able to contribute to the ICC investigation.
It is made up of two forensic scientists and around 15 gendarmes from the National Gendarmerie Criminal Research Institute (IRCGN), crime-scene investigators and victim-identification experts. Among other things, they have got recognized expertise in ballistics, explosives, DNA sampling and processing, and fingerprinting. The team will be able to establish a process for examining and identifying bodies. Finally, it will deploy LabADN, a rapid, projectable genetic-testing system. The equipment has been developed by the IRCGN.
As a reminder, France is also supporting the International Criminal Court by sending two judges and 10 investigators and making an exceptional extra financial contribution of €500,000, in addition to the annual funding it provides for its regular operations.
Finally, as holder of the presidency of the Council of the European Union, in the next few days in Brussels France will be promoting an initiative aimed at coordinating contributions by Member States and EU agencies, Europol and Eurojust among others, to bring to light and investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine.
Faced with such atrocities, France, true to its values, will not look the other way.
War crimes in Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
April 3, 2022
I have received reports of massive acts of violence committed by Russian forces in Ukrainian cities and towns that they have occupied in recent weeks, particularly in the town of Bucha. I condemn in the strongest terms these acts constituting war crimes, if they are confirmed. We are working, together with our partners, the Ukrainian authorities and the competent international jurisdictions, particularly the International Criminal Court, to ensure that these acts do not go unpunished and that their perpetrators are tried and sentenced.
The strongest international and economic pressure possible on Russia must be continued and strengthened to force the Russian authorities to end the war of aggression against Ukraine they began on 24 February and whose human cost and humanitarian impact are graver by the day. France remains fully committed to contributing to these efforts, particularly with its European partners under the French presidency of the Council of the European Union and in the G7, and will continue to lend its determined support to the Ukrainian authorities, in all its forms.
As part of the international support provided to Ukraine, France grants a budgetary loan of €300 million to the Ukrainian Government to meet its financial, economic and humanitarian needs
Communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery – March 29, 2022
France is actively contributing to the European and international financial effort of solidarity with Ukraine, to help it face up to its financing needs, at a time when the country’s humanitarian, financial and economic situation has sharply deteriorated since the invasion by Russia.
As part of the commitment made by the French President, the Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery, Bruno Le Maire, asked the Chief Executive Officer of the French Development Agency (AFD) to urgently set in motion a budgetary loan of €300 million for Ukraine, to help the country face up to the economic and social consequences of the conflict under way. The AFD’s board approved this operation, carried out on the State’s behalf.
On March 29, 2022, a credit agreement for the operation was reached between Ukraine and France, via the AFD. The actual payment of the funds will be made in the coming days. This financial support is a practical demonstration of France’s solidarity with the Ukrainian Government and people.
International Criminal Court investigation into crimes committed in Ukraine
March 23, 2022
On March 2, 2022 the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor opened an investigation into crimes committed in Ukraine. The decision was taken after 41 States, including the 27 European Union Member States, asked for the opening of the investigation by the Court’s Prosecutor to be sped up.
On this basis, the Prosecutor asked the States to lend him financial and human assistance to ensure the proper conduct of the investigation.
France reiterates its firm condemnation of Russia’s unjustifiable, illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine. Those responsible for the atrocities committed in the context of this aggression must be prosecuted as part of the essential fight against impunity.
Consequently, France, which staunchly supports the essential work carried out by the ICC, will make judges, investigators and experts available to the Prosecutor to allow him to conduct his investigation under the best conditions. It will also provide the Court, via the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ budget, with exceptional financial support of €500,000. This financial assistance may subsequently be increased if need be. As a reminder, France is already the third-largest contributor to the ICC’s budget.
In this context, the Keeper of the Seals, Minister of Justice will visit The Hague (Netherlands) on March 24, 2022 as representative of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union (FPEU), to take part in a meeting of justice ministers from States supporting the Prosecutor’s action. At the meeting, Mr. Éric Dupond-Moretti will encourage the States taking part in it to step up their support for the ICC.
Mr. Ladislav Hamran, President of the European Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust), will also take part in the meeting today, March 24. Indeed, as the March 4, 2022 Council of Justice Ministers of the European Union Member States asked it to do, Eurojust may play a major role in coordinating national courts’ investigations into allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Ukraine and may provide decisive assistance to evidence-gathering by the ICC Prosecutor.
France condemns the sentencing of Aleksei Navalny and the confirmation of Memorial’s liquidation and applauds the courage of the Russian civil society activists who are being unjustly persecuted and sentenced for their ideas
March 23, 2022
We strongly condemn the nine-year prison sentence and 1.2 million ruble fine imposed against the opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny by Moscow’s Lefortovo court on March 22.
The Russian authorities’ decision attests to the legal harassment of Mr. Navalny, his family and his close collaborators. The arrest of Mr. Navalny’s lawyers, Olga Mikhailova et Vadim Kobzev, following the trial is highly concerning and demonstrates the pressure that is being exercised against the defense.
We maintain that Mr. Navalny did not receive a fair trial and does not belong in prison. Once again, we call on the Russian authorities to release him.
We likewise condemn the decision by the Russian Federation’s Supreme Court to reject a request to delay the liquidation of the NGO Memorial International.
We applaud the courage of Mr. Navalny, the members of Memorial and all the civil society activists in Russia who are being unjustly persecuted and sentenced for their ideas.
National solidarity effort for Ukraine: donations of equipment and emergency vehicles
March 22, 2022
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior welcome the surge of solidarity towards the Ukrainian people shown by departmental fire and rescue services from all over France.
Thanks to this exceptional mobilization, on March 23, a convoy organized by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior will dispatch to Romania response vehicles and equipment, which will be provided to Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Service, mobilized day and night to provide relief to victims.
On March 23, 100 fire and rescue personnel will dispatch to the border with Ukraine the vehicles and equipment being provided: 11 fire engines, 16 rescue vehicles, and 23 lorries transporting 49 tonnes of health and emergency equipment (protective gear, extending ladders, fire hoses, medical equipment etc.).
The operation is being coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Civil Security and Crisis Management and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre.
A convoy of 21 new ambulances which left on March 22, completes the donation. They were bought with contributions from local authorities and businesses, paid into the dedicated support funds managed by the Crisis and Support Centre.
The operations, carried out under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM), demonstrate the solidarity of France, its local authorities and its businesses with the Ukrainian people.
Conversation between Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Ukrainian counterpart
March 17, 2022
The two ministers reviewed in detail the support provided jointly to Ukraine by France and its partners as a consequence of the war provoked by Russia. The Minister confirmed that a €300 million financial assistance package will be released in the coming days in line with the French President’s commitment to President Zelensky. He pledged to continue our efforts at the European level to increase the cost that continuing its military operations would represent for Russia. He also presented the various aspects of the humanitarian aid provided by France to people both inside and outside of Ukraine who are affected by the war.
The minister very strongly condemned Russian military actions against civilian populations and population centers in violation of international humanitarian law. He called for the urgent establishment of a complete ceasefire throughout Ukrainian territory, as the International Court of Justice asked Russia to implement yesterday. Only such a ceasefire can make it possible for serious negotiations to end the conflict. Lastly, the minister addressed the importance of the discussions taking place under the auspices of the IAEA regarding the security and safety of Ukraine’s civilian nuclear facilities.
Death of the journalist Pierre Zakrzewski - Statement from Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
March 16, 2022
I was deeply shocked to hear of the deaths in Ukraine of the Franco-Irish journalist Pierre Zakrzewski and the Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Kuvshynova. They were both killed in the same attack, alongside Benjamin Hall, who was seriously wounded. Pierre Zakrzewski worked for the Fox News channel and had covered very many theatres of war, as a fervent campaigner for freedom of information.
I extend my sincerest condolences to his family and close friends, as well as those of Oleksandra Kuvshynova, and stand by them in the face of this tragedy.
Following the deaths of Brent Renaud and then Evgeny Sakun in the Russian armed forces’ attack on the TV tower in Kyiv, I repeat that the armed forces have an obligation to protect journalists in accordance with international humanitarian law, and I utterly condemn any action which targets them.
France reaffirms its steadfast, resolute commitment to press freedom, freedom of expression and the protection of journalists and all those whose expression contributes to free, pluralistic information and public debate, throughout the world.
These events illustrate the extreme dangerousness today of what is happening in Ukraine.
Statement of the G7 Non-Proliferation Directors Group on a Nuclear Safety and Security Framework for Ukraine
March 15, 2022
G7 leaders and ministers have condemned Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
Profoundly concerned, in this context, by Russian attacks at and in the direct vicinity of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, and condemning any acts compromising the safety of nuclear installations devoted to peaceful purposes,
Mindful that the risk to civilians from damage to a nuclear site during armed conflict has the potential to increase dramatically and that the radiological risk to civilians and the environment from a nuclear accident go beyond the borders of any country,
Welcoming the IAEA Director General’s efforts to establish a framework agreement on the safety and security of nuclear installations for peaceful purposes in Ukraine during the current armed conflict,
The G-7 strongly endorses the following seven pillars outlined by Director General Rafael Grossi:
- The physical integrity of the nuclear facilities, whether it is reactors, fuel ponds, or radioactive waste storage and disposal sites, must be maintained;
- All safety and security systems and equipment must be fully functional at all times;
- Operating staff must be able to fulfil their respective safety and security duties, with appropriate staff rotation, and have the capacity to make safety and security-related decisions free of undue pressure;
- There must be secure off-site power supply from the grid for all nuclear sites;
- There must be uninterrupted logistical supply chains and transportation to and from the sites;
- There must be effective on-site and off-site radiation monitoring systems and emergency preparedness and response measures; and
- There must be reliable communications of the sites with the regulator, as appropriate;
We support the Director General’s efforts to conclude an agreed framework for the safety and security of all nuclear installations in Ukraine as a matter of urgency, while respecting full Ukrainian sovereignty over its territory and infrastructure. Further, we urge all countries to make available to the IAEA all necessary resources and equipment to facilitate technical support to Ukraine and provide safety to individuals implementing the seven pillars in areas of armed conflict.
We thank Director General Grossi and his staff for their tireless efforts to secure the framework agreement to support the safety and security of Ukraine´s civilian nuclear sites, and we commit to continuing to support the Agency in facilitating these seven pillars of safety and security of peaceful nuclear installations.
"Memorial and the universal importance of the history of Stalinism: European memories and national histories" - Speech by Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
March 10, 2022
Ladies and gentlemen,
As Vladimir Putin’s regime ventures every day a little further along the paths of an unjustifiable war against Ukraine and massive repression of Russian civil society, I was keen to be with you to reaffirm France’s support to Memorial which, for more than 30 years, has represented everything those two courses of action deny. Memorial’s future is now seriously threatened in Russia.
I would therefore like to warmly welcome Nicolas Werth and Alain Blum who, on behalf of Memorial France, invited me to speak before you, following an afternoon of discussions that have been very fruitful and useful, as we have just heard. It shows how important the words of historians should be today.
To find our bearings in the profoundly historic time into which we have all been plunged, we need you: your knowledge, your outlook and your vigilance.
Firstly, this moment is a time in which everybody can feel the return, at the very heart of our continent, of the most painful echoes of the last century.
The military aggression that Vladimir Putin irresponsibly chose to launch against Ukraine and 44 million Ukrainians in violation of international law marks the return to Europe, after years of peace and several decades of stability, of war in the strictest and most canonical sense of the term: a vast military offensive, carried out by one State against another, with the goal of invading its territory and imposing its will by force.
The columns of tanks on the roads, the cities under siege and the exodus of refugees under enemy bombardment are images that, like many more that now haunt us ceaselessly, revive the memory of all the darkest hours of the 20th century.
Of course, comparison is not proof. But we have all thought of 1914, of 1939, of 1956, of 1968, of 1992, of 1999 and of each of the terrible years of this long European tragedy, as Ukraine was at the centre of what one of your colleagues has called the “bloodlands” of our continent.
The moment we are living through is also, very objectively, a moment of historic regression.
Because it violates the cardinal principles of international law and the European security order, Vladimir Putin’s choice brutally undermines more than seven decades of joint efforts, made with the USSR and then Russia, to break away from the horrors of the Second World War and build a safer, more stable world and Europe by regulating power balances and governing the competition between powers by means of the law, mutual commitments between States, and diplomatic dialogue.
We are all aware that what has just happened is the sinister culmination of a long effort to undermine and dismantle that order. We must recognize that a new threshold has just been breached, at the cost of a qualitative leap in transgression which is most certainly a tipping point.
This tipping point thrusts us into a new era. In this sense too, we are living through a historic moment: a time when the fabric of our present is being ripped apart, where a certain world is disappearing irrevocably, and where, perhaps more than usual, our future is dependent on the choices that we can make.
The upheavals and shifts of recent years have gradually defined a new configuration of power, where brutalization – of international relations, of the information space and of the rivalry between models – is fully at work in the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. But this war is no less an event, in the strongest sense of the word. While it can be analysed through the prism of existing and already proven trends, it takes on its full meaning in the light of the consequences it is likely to bring.
That is why European countries and their allies were quick to take unconventional decisions.
Unconventional decisions, firstly, to address the emergency.
That is the meaning of the support we are providing to the Ukrainian government and resistance, who are standing firm.
That is the meaning of the massive sanctions we have imposed on the Russian economy to make the cost of the war untenable. They will be strengthened.
And that is the meaning of our humanitarian efforts and our work to welcome refugees from Ukraine.
Unconventional decisions, too, to address the long-term consequences of what is currently happening.
That is focus of the summit dedicated to the future of our European model and European sovereignty that is taking place today and tomorrow in Versailles, with the President of the Republic and his counterparts from the 27 EU Member States.
And that is what we will continue to do throughout the coming weeks and months. France, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of this year, has particular responsibility in this respect, and we intend to shoulder it fully.
These different levels of historicity – the echoes of Europe’s 20th century, the shock of a major regression in international relations, and the experience of being thrust into historic turmoil – which saturate, as I was saying, the moment we are living through, all collide, intertwine and overlap, with the risk of amalgamation.
There is also another level of historicity, no less crucial, that is at the heart of the present moment. It is that the war launched by Russia against Ukraine is very overtly an armed revisionism.
The speech by President Putin on 21 February, to provide a semblance of justification for his decision to recognize the independence of the two puppet republics of Donbas, a speech that opened the way for the launch of a large-scale military offensive against Ukraine, took the form of a discourse mainly focused on the past of Ukraine and of Russia of much the same sort as the essay that same Vladimir Putin published last summer on the subject of what he considers to be – to use his words – “the historic unity of Russians and Ukrainians”. Those words are of course problematic, presenting as a fact what the pseudo-demonstration they introduce is supposed to show.
Many historians immediately challenged the validity of the biased and sometimes even dishonest sophisms advanced by Vladimir Putin in the two texts. It is not my role to go back over that.
What I do want to say, as a political figure of a country where some also sometimes seek to rewrite history, is that the theorization of historical revisionism has been used to justify the conduct of a geopolitical revisionism. And this two-fold revision is today leading to the denial, through acts of war, of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in its internationally recognized borders, of the sovereignty of Ukraine and, ultimately, of the very right of the Ukrainian nation to exist.
Similar violence is expressed in the discourse that presents Ukraine as the product of so-called historical errors and in the deployment of military means to correct said “errors” – an expression that I use in quote marks and with all the required distance.
It is a violence against the Ukrainian nation, which is showing, however, through its brave resistance, its determination to stand strong as the protagonist of its own history.
It is a violence against facts, and not only historical facts.
Marc Bloch wrote that “misunderstanding of the present is the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past”.
That is true. But today, we are seeing another spiral of falseness take shape, when the distortion of the past extends into a falsification of the present. It is very clear, and unfortunately proven, that manipulations of history and manipulations of information answer and strengthen one another mutually.
That is particularly striking, and revolting, in the instrumentalization and misuse, by the Russian authorities, of the notions of denazification and genocide, as said in the introductory remarks.
So, denial of facts.
Because neither President Zelenskyy, if only for obvious personal reasons, nor the political movements chosen democratically by the Ukrainian people to govern the country are Nazis, neo-Nazis or admirers of the Third Reich. As everyone can see, for that matter, from their words and their actions.
A denial of facts also because the idea that the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine are victims of a genocide does not stand up at all, there is not the slightest basis and it cannot be supported by any type of evidence.
The instrumentalization and misuse of the notions of denazification and genocide are therefore a denial of the terrible historic experiences they refer to.
That is why the violence of Vladimir Putin’s revisionism is also a violence that relates to the most sensitive aspects of the memories of the Second World War.
I particularly have in mind Ukrainian, and therefore European, memories.
I have in mind our own European memories, in all their diversity.
But also Russian memories, to which this shameful distortion of the past and present is an insult.
The fact that Vladimir Putin is waging a war under the pretext of a clear distortion of history undoubtedly does not surprise you, as you are people who share Memorial’s commitment and combat. To be truthful, nor does it surprise me.
Because, like you, I have noted that for several years, history and memory have been placed where political abuses of his regime meet geopolitical ones.
At the core of the headlong rush into authoritarianism, which, in Russia itself, has one by one battered all the principles of the rule of law and all civil liberties, there is a policy of consolidation of an official national historical narrative based on the advent of a strong State through the centuries, coupled with a policy of harassment and systematic repression of all “producers of history” that could undermine the univocal nature of this narrative. Harassment of which the different aspects have been well documented and analysed in a report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), written by one of you here today, Ilya Nuzov, and I thank you for this very valuable work.
Political and geopolitical abuses because at the core of Russia’s race for power in the international and European arena, which since 2008 has taken the form of a gradual rise in violence and destabilization, we see propaganda at play which is based on the imperial dimension of this same historical narrative, and used to justify the worst violence. As if the war were nothing more than a continuation of history through other means.
That is why repression against Memorial has increased since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and began its efforts to destabilize the Donbas region. And that is why Memorial is threatened now more than ever.
At the end of December, while troops prepared to march towards the Ukraine borders, Russian courts ordered, under false pretenses which fooled no one, the judicial liquidation of Memorial’s two branches: the NGO Memorial International and the Memorial Human Rights Centre.
A few days after the offensive against Ukraine began, this verdict was confirmed.
Last Friday, while authorities were ramping up pressure on civil society, the Moscow offices of the Memorial Human Rights Centre were being searched.
That day – as you may very well know – President Macron spoke with Alexander Cherkasov, with whom he met, I remember this well, during an official visit to Saint Petersburg in 2018. He assured him of France’s support.
That is the same message I came here to share.
I would like to reiterate to you – and particularly to you, Nikita Petrov and Natalia Morozova – France’s indignation and concern about this unacceptable repression aimed at silencing Memorial.
Silencing Memorial is not only an attack on Russia’s past, but on its future as well.
I remind you of this, with the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explaining, unequivocally, why silence in the face of atrocities is a poison for entire generations.
Allow me to read a few lines: “We must publicly condemn the very idea that men can exercise such violence on other men. In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand-fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”
I would also like to reiterate, that, like our European Union partners, we call for the release of Yury Dmitriev, a historian, who we mentioned earlier, specializing in the mass graves of the Stalinist era, human rights defender and local leader of Memorial, whose prison sentence was extended last December to 15 years in a penal colony.
I would like to reiterate our solidarity with all the members of Memorial’s different branches.
For three decades, taking more and more risks, it has been fighting to firmly establish a documented history in Russia, starting with the Stalinist era, in the name of a demand for truth, which is scientific, social and ethical.
By consulting archives, witness accounts and academic research, they have accomplished remarkable historical work that has crucially contributed to information on 20th century mass crimes, and to the rehabilitation and remembrance of millions of victims of repression.
It is historical and memorial work, which pertains both to truth and justice, and lives on through tireless efforts to defend human rights in Russia, and in theaters of war where Russia has been engaged – from Chechnya and Syria to Ukraine as of 2014. The importance of which today can only seem obvious as we witness the sieges of Mariupol and Kharkiv, similar to those of Grozny and Alep in terms of their horrifying violence and terrorizing approach.
And I would lastly like to say that France and its European partners will support Memorial in safeguarding archives collected.
It is unthinkable that the fruit of 30 years of work could be lost.
It is unthinkable that the legacy of Andrei Sakharov could disappear.
It is unthinkable that the flame of Memorial could be extinguished, the flame of this little candle that has become the symbol of its fight for us all.
For we all need the light that it shines on the past and the present.
Yes, we all need it. I have heard that this is what you wanted to underline by emphasizing here today the universal, singularly European scope of Memorial’s contribution to the history of Stalinism.
For this reason, the motive that serves as pretext for the judicial harassment of Memorial and so many other organizations defending freedom of expression and human rights in Russia, namely its status as a supposed “foreign agent”, is not merely a sad tactic to cover up the repressive and slanderous motive.
This is not only the height of cynicism, coming from a power that has made interference in public spaces and elections of democracies one of its specialities.
But also the expression of a deep misunderstanding of the value of Memorial’s work, and the reasons for which a country such as France supports it.
The “foreign agent” notion insinuates quite strongly that Memorial supposedly acts against the interests of Russia, on behalf of other powers. When, in reality, the complete opposite is true.
Memorial provides Russian society with decisive instruments for having a clear view of its own history.
And in doing so, Memorial provides its society with decisive instruments for understanding Europe’s past.
For neither the history of the Great Patriotic War nor the history of Stalinism belong to Russia – and even less so to its President alone. They are, at the very least, links to our own European history.
That is why I also wanted to commend the joint effort of all European Memorial branches, meeting here today, to continue Memorial’s work.
It runs through France, Italy – thank you Niccolò Pianciola – and the Czech Republic – thank you Štěpán Černoušek – as well as many other countries of our Union. And all Europeans have reason to be grateful for that.
For while it is a sign of solidarity with organizations persecuted in Russia, it is also a response to one of our greatest European challenges: the challenges of building a shared European historiography and memory which ensure an implacable diversity of our national histories and an implacable plurality of our European memories.
Each of us here knows that this crucial work – which is essential for the ability of our Europe to affirm its sovereignty, its model and its stature as a power in the international arena – mainly stumble over the fact that we still meet too often to talk about our experiences, which are at times radically different, of the end of the Second World War, which did not restore freedom to our entire continent. The history and memory of the Soviet past are certainly one of the main reasons for this. That is why they not only concern Russian people, but all Europeans.
By raising awareness of Memorial’s work in your respective countries and in meetings such as this one, I believe that you are playing an important role in establishing this pluralistic European historiography and memory. And we are very proud to accompany you, I am thinking of the Condorcet campus in particular, through our entire cultural network and education network in Europe.
Lastly, ladies and gentlemen, by paying tribute to Memorial’s Russian members, I would like to reiterate very clearly that we stand with all Russians who – in daring to demonstrate and daring to speak out publically – are opposing Vladimir Putin’s war.
We are aware of the risks they are taking.
We are aware of the violent repression to which they are subjected.
And we respect their courage.
Although we have taken, are taking and will take drastic measures to isolate Russia in the international arena and are exerting pressure on its economy and the members of its elite to obtain, to start with, a ceasefire in Ukraine, under no circumstances do we intend to break intellectual, academic and cultural ties that we share with Russian civil society and its forces for progress.
Undoubtedly this will unfortunately be increasingly difficult, but we will do everything in our power to preserve these ties. Until we can fully meet again.
At a time when Russia is closing itself off, I felt that this had to be said here.
I hope that this last message will be heard.
France condemns in the strongest terms the strikes by the Russian armed forces against the Mariupol pediatric hospital
March 9, 2022
France condemns in the strongest terms the strikes by the Russian armed forces against the Mariupol pediatric hospital, which caused several victims, including a child. This is a massive and flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
For the past ten days, the city of Mariupol and its 300,000 inhabitants have been under siege by the Russian armed forces and have been subjected to incessant shelling, which has caused the death of many civilians to date. The attack came after a ceasefire had been agreed to allow the evacuation of civilians.
Obligations to respect international humanitarian law are binding on all parties to an armed conflict. It is important that these violations of humanitarian law, potentially constituting war crimes, do not go unpunished and can be documented, particularly in the context of the investigation opened by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
France reiterates its calls for an immediate ceasefire throughout Ukraine and for free and unhindered humanitarian access.
Mme Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate for Citizenship, attached to the Minister of the Interior, launches the platform “I commit to Ukraine”
Paris - March 8, 2022
Today, March 8, Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate for Citizenship, attached to the Minister of the Interior, launched the platform “I commit to Ukraine” to help Ukrainian families fleeing the war against Ukraine and arriving in France.
“French women and men are showing huge generosity in helping Ukrainians who arrive in France,” said Marlène Schiappa. “To support them, we’ve created a dedicated platform to put their initiatives into practice with the help of the relevant voluntary organizations,” she added.
The platform, dedicated to welcoming Ukrainian families to France, can be accessed via the link parrainage.refugies.info [refugee sponsorship website] and enables all French citizens to offer services (accommodation, language courses, food aid, translation, interpreting, administrative help etc.). The platform links people up with the relevant voluntary organizations to provide support with procedures to help find or offer accommodation.
The platform also enables voluntary organizations to make themselves known and recruit volunteers to help them carry out their work, and also includes useful information for Ukrainians who have arrived in France.
The Minister Delegate will hold a press conference at the Interior Ministry (Place Beauvau Paris 8) at 10.45 a.m. on Thursday, March 10 to describe the mechanism set up to welcome Ukrainian refugees to France and review the monitoring of flows of displaced people arriving in France with those involved in taking them in (DIAIR, DGEF).
France mobilizes to deliver emergency medical aid to victims of the conflict
March 1, 2022
In view of the humanitarian situation in Ukraine created by the Russian invasion of that country and in response to a request by the Ukrainian authorities, France has decided to put together a €100 million financial package to assist victims of the conflict.
In addition to financial support for NGOs and multilateral organizations, our assistance is in the form of emergency humanitarian aid.
Four trucks carrying an initial shipment of 33 tons of emergency aid arrived in Poland from France on Sunday evening, and the shipment was delivered to the Ukrainian authorities yesterday. The shipment, which came from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center and the stockpile of the Interior Ministry’s Civil Security Agency, is composed of items to provide shelter for displaced persons (500 family tents, 2,300 blankets, 1,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 floor mats and 300 sleeping bags).
A second shipment composed of eight tons of emergency medical supplies departed France today aboard two Polish civil security aircraft and will be delivered to the Ukrainian authorities. This shipment includes a "mobile clinic" with medicines and hospital equipment intended to reinforce emergency facilities; it is capable of treating up to 500 war-wounded. It also includes 36 containers of medication donated by Fondation Tulipe.
These two operations fall within the framework of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM).
At the request of the Polish authorities, humanitarian support in the form of emergency medical aid will also be provided to Poland to help care for refugees fleeing Ukraine.
Other humanitarian aid operations for Ukraine are being considered.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs activates the Local Government External Action Fund to pool initiatives and harness the exceptional outpouring of solidarity with the Ukrainian people at the regional level
March 1, 2022
As announced by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs activated the Local Government External Action Fund (FACECO) to pool initiatives and harness the exceptional outpouring of solidarity with the Ukrainian people at the regional level.
This mechanism allows all local governments, regardless of their size, to make financial contributions, should they wish to do so. Combined within a fund managed by specialized teams from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center, these contributions help fund emergency humanitarian operations that meet the priority needs of victims of the conflict.
Local governments that wish to make financial contributions to FACECO will find a "how-to" guide on the Ministry’s France Diplomatie site: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/politique-etrangere-de-la-france/action-exterieure-des-collectivites-territoriales/article/fonds-d-action-exterieure-des-collectivites-territoriales-faceco
An additional mechanism will be activated to receive contributions from businesses that want to get involved.
Given the tragic consequences of the Russian invasion, the humanitarian needs of Ukraine and neighboring countries are acute and long-term.
France will continue to mobilize its efforts in support of the Ukrainian people.
The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will hold an information and coordination meeting with local governments in the very near future.
Joint declaration by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Germany and Poland
Łódź - March 1, 2022
On the occasion of the meeting of the “Weimar Triangle” in Łódź, we, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany, France and Poland condemn in the strongest possible words the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by armed forces of the Russian Federation in a flagrant breach of UN Charter. We also condemn the involvement of Belarus in this aggression against Ukraine and call on Minsk to abide by its international obligations.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is the most serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. We deplore the tragic loss of life, enormous human suffering and destruction caused by Russia’s actions.
We demand Russian authorities to cease military operations immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine.
We reiterate our steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
We welcome the swift, united and determined reaction of the European Union and all its Member States through the adoption of new and wide-ranging restrictive measures. These unprecedented sanctions, coordinated with our partners and allies, commensurate with the scale of the violations of international law and the founding principles of European security, will have profound and long-lasting consequences for Russia.
Poland, France and Germany welcomed unity and trust demonstrated by the Transatlantic community in the past weeks in seeking a diplomatic outcome. Our countries, together with other Allies, stand united to defend one another in accordance with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. Poland, France and Germany will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security and defense of all Allies. We have taken measures to strengthen our contribution to deterrence and defense posture in the eastern part of the Alliance and are prepared to respond to any contingencies. Our measures are and remain preventive, proportionate and non-escalatory.
We remain gravely concerned that Russian military aggression may endanger lives of Ukrainian people and our nationals who remain in Ukraine as well as the safety and security of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission’s personnel some of whom remain in Ukraine. We hold Russia responsible for their safety.
We acknowledge the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine. We express our readiness to support Ukraine, its government and its people in this existentially difficult moment, be it financially, economically, by providing military equipment and in the humanitarian dimension, , as well as by sending strong political signals at all possible levels bilaterally and in international organizations. In this regard we commend the adoption on 27 of February by the Council of the European Union of a decisions establishing a €500 million assistance measures under the European Peace Facility in support of Ukraine that will contribute to strengthening the capabilities and resilience of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
We reaffirm the commitment of Poland, France and Germany to strengthening the political association and economic integration of Ukraine with the European Union and its internal market. We express our support for NATO’s open door policy as well as its political and practical cooperation with Ukraine in defense area in order to assist Ukraine in developing its capabilities and resilience. Our countries stand by the people of Ukraine and its democratically elected institutions and representatives.
France, Poland, and Germany, as countries currently playing the leading role respectively as the EU Presidency, OSCE Chairmanship, and G7 Presidency, share a special responsibility in maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity on the European continent. We underscore that diplomacy is still an appropriate way forward in the current security situation. We deplore Russia’s denial and rejection of all diplomatic efforts including in the OSCE. We re-affirm our position that the principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent OSCE documents remain the fundament of the security architecture in Europe. In the OSCE area as elsewhere, nothing can justify resorting to armed violence and aggression against sovereign States to address geopolitical tensions.
The French President spoke with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, several times over the past few hours
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris - February 28, 2022
The President of the French Republic spoke with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, today, Monday, 28 February 2022.
The French President reiterated the international community’s demand to end the Russian offensive against Ukraine and reaffirmed the need to immediately establish a ceasefire.
With discussions starting between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations, the French President asked that the following points be respected on the ground:
- stop all strikes and attacks on civilians and residential areas;
- preserve all civilian infrastructure;
- secure main roads, particularly in the south of Kyiv.
President Putin confirmed that he was willing to commit to these three points.
The French President demanded compliance with international humanitarian law and the protection of civilian populations, such as delivery of aid, in accordance with the resolution submitted by France to the United Nations Security Council.
The French President suggested to the Russian President that they remain in contact over the next few days to help prevent the situation from worsening. President Putin agreed.
France calls for unhindered humanitarian access to Ukraine
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris - February 27, 2022
During his international telephone conversations linked to the Ukraine crisis, and particularly with the leaders of the countries in the region on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 February, the French President and his interlocutors have made the same observation that it is necessary to work on conditions for the smooth transport of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
On the basis of these discussions, France will promote a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council tomorrow morning to guarantee unhindered humanitarian access, to address the urgent needs of the people remaining in Ukraine.
In this framework, in addition to emergency humanitarian action, France will call for a ceasefire, which must precede any peace talks.
Interview given by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to France Inter (excerpts)
Paris - February 25, 2022
What information on the ground do you have, right now, about what’s happening in Ukraine?
THE MINISTER – It’s all-out war. President Putin has chosen war, he’s chosen a massive offensive, he’s chosen to remove Ukraine from the map, and he conducts these offensives regularly, systematically, very vigorously. And today, in the east, the south and the capital, the threat is increasing. It’s also clear in all this that the Donbas issue was only a pretext: what Putin wanted was for Ukraine to submit; and he’ll apparently be continuing his offensive to the end, knowing that President Zelenskyy, yesterday, through President Macron, expressed the wish for the conflict to stop, the deaths to stop...
That’s been rejected outright…
…and for a minimum level of dialogue to be started, and Putin rejected that. So he’s continuing his offensive extremely firmly, carrying his intentions through to the end. It’s a dramatic turning point in history. With this offensive, the history of Europe in recent years is changing course.
Should we expect a short war? Can the Ukrainian resistance be swiftly crushed by Russian forces?
Yesterday I spoke to my colleague [Dmytro] Kuleba, Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who told me first of all of the Ukrainians’ determination to continue their resistance, but also of the action he was asking us to take: firstly, a request for humanitarian aid, and we’re going to mobilize to that end, we’ve already done so, and the European Union will continue it; a request for financial support, and that’s been decided, both by President Macron a few days ago and by the European Council yesterday evening; a request for support in terms of defence equipment; and we’re going to follow up these requests in order to assist…
Send what, for example?
I’m not going to go into detail here, it’s not desirable in terms of informing the adversary, but he asked us for a whole list of equipment, which we’re currently looking at, and we’re doing the best we can. And he also wanted there to be sanctions to try and stifle the way Russia functions.
There are rumours that Vladimir Putin wants to assassinate Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Is this true? Are you getting the same feedback from your services?
I think President Zelenskyy’s security is a central factor in what’s happening now, and we’re in a position to help him if necessary, but it’s important for him to hold his position. I’m very struck by President Zelenskyy’s composure, his control over what he’s saying and the way he speaks to his people. I’m also very struck by the Ukrainian people’s courage and their determination to reject this occupation.
Help him if necessary: what does that mean?
We’ll take the measures that need to be taken.
Does that mean exfiltrating him if need be?
As I say, we’ll take the measures that need to be taken.
Among the direct consequences of the Russian attack, the first population movements, 100,000 people fled Ukraine yesterday – that’s an estimate. Are you anticipating significant population movements to Europe – displaced people, refugees – and if so, on what scale?
Yes, it’s possible; I don’t want to give any figures, but it’s clear that the pressure currently being exerted on Kyiv has led to significant population movements, in particular towards Poland, and obviously the Europeans will step up and show solidarity, taking in refugees, taking in displaced people, to put us all collectively in a position to welcome and support them. Those movements were discussed at the European Council last night; there will be a meeting of European Union interior ministers under our responsibility tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, to think about how we can show solidarity and welcome those refugees as effectively as possible.
(…) Last night you replied on this point: “Vladimir Putin must also understand that the Atlantic Alliance is a nuclear alliance”, end of quote. What exactly does that mean? What’s the exact meaning of your words?
It’s very simple: whenever there’s an intervention of this kind by President Putin – I’m thinking in particular of Crimea in 2014 –, he tries to frighten people, he says, “look at my muscles, I’m strong”, he tries to intimidate people, but he knows very well – and I repeat it here, as I said yesterday evening, no more and no less – that the Atlantic Alliance is also a nuclear alliance. There you are, full stop.
Which also shows its muscles?
He knows it, so they are, as it were, words to frighten people, but he’s well aware of the balance of power.
Things have to be explained, and I repeat the question about what exactly your remarks mean. When, like France, you’re Europe’s sole nuclear power, it changes everything.
Yes, I say that when President Putin says in his remarks – in particular in his announcement before the intervention in Ukraine – that he has major weapons, we reply quite simply: “so do we”.
Let’s get on to the area of sanctions. (…) Are you really sure they’ll be effective?
I’m not sure President Putin has appreciated the scale of the sanctions that were decided on yesterday, both by the Europeans and by our transatlantic partners, by President Biden in this case, last night. I’m not sure he’s appreciated the scale, because the aim of these sanctions is actually to paralyse the way Russia functions, stifle the way Russia functions, and strike at the heart of its major financial, economic and technological systems. And so the package of measures that has been announced is quite impressive, it’s never been seen. What was done at one point, after the invasion of Crimea, was one thing; now we’re looking at a massive process which will have consequences on Russia – very quickly – because there was a first set of measures taken by the European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday, when we met here in Paris, which was already very directly aimed at a number of banks, which applies immediately, and the package of measures decided on yesterday will apply very quickly, at least the financial part and the action against banks. So the process is huge, but it reflects the gravity of the situation.
As for France, it will be adding its own sanctions against Russian citizens. On this point, what’s being envisaged?
The President said last night that France would adopt measures regarding the property assets of a number of oligarchs who have the habit of visiting France; the measures will be drastic and tough and they’ll be notified…
What does that mean? Freezing their assets, banning them from the country? What does it mean?
It means freezing their assets, it means freezing the cheque books, it means [their] not being able to gain access to their property assets, it means [their] no longer being able to carry out commercial or economic activities, or indeed activities involving free movement in France; they’ll be extremely vigorous measures.
Why haven’t the Europeans banned Russian banks from the bank messaging system Swift, the so-called nervous system, in a way, a crucial cog in global finance? Why wasn’t that adopted yesterday?
Because we had to move fast and take drastic and demanding measures, like the measures we adopted in the financial sphere against 70% of Russian banks, which will no longer be able to financially refuel on the financial markets. That’s already huge; afterwards nothing is off the table, there will be other measures, other sanctions.
But we saw Germany and Italy, which took another line on the Swift issue.
No, because we had to move fast yesterday, and we had to immediately signal our unity on tough issues, and that was done.
But can you create Europe with two countries which, in a war situation, when the French President himself calls for the creation of a Europe that is a power – how can anyone understand that countries are not aligned at the very moment when there’s war in Europe?
The countries are totally aligned. I must disagree with what you say about European disunity. What’s struck me most since the beginning of this crisis has been European unity, and the speed with which the Europeans agree on adopting sanctions. The sanctions package decided on yesterday is on such a scale that it’s first of all benefited the European Union, and it will have decisive impacts on Russia; it will hurt very much.
Emmanuel Macron declared yesterday evening that Vladimir Putin had chosen to take us back to the age of empires and confrontation. We know now that Vladimir Putin is putting his threats into action, and this requires us to look at the future differently. Are you worried for countries such as Moldova and Georgia, countries which are basically in the same security vacuum as Ukraine was?
President Putin is reinventing history, he wants to recreate an empire, he wants to assert his power by every means, he’s in a kind of downward slide. Actually, for a few years we’ve witnessed – especially at the moment – a kind of threefold drift towards authoritarianism by President Putin. There’s a drift towards authoritarianism domestically; we should remember the Navalny affair, but also remember, today, that those who want to demonstrate in Russia against the war find themselves in jail. We must also remember that yesterday 170 journalists were banned from taking an initiative to protest against the war. There’s a drift towards authoritarianism domestically. There’s a drift towards authoritarianism externally, which began with Georgia in 2008 and continued with the action in Syria, which continued with Crimea, and now Ukraine; beforehand there was Belarus…
And there’s a drift, as well, towards authoritarianism in terms of interference, i.e. trying to throw the West off balance by various destabilizing actions. It’s this drift towards authoritarianism which is leading to the reconfiguration of history, the reinvention of history on the part of President Putin. (…)
But are you worried for countries such as Moldova and Georgia?
Yes, of course, we’re worried about what comes next, and this is why the adopted packet of measures is going to be absolutely decisive, including also for Russia’s arms industries. So it’s important now to bring these into effect as swiftly as possible.
But what do you think comes next, in light of what happened yesterday morning, namely a country crosses the border of a sovereign State with its military forces – does this change everything?
It changes everything, history has dramatically changed course; contrary, incidentally, to what President Putin may have thought, his actions have strengthened European unity and strengthened the unity of NATO. This afternoon there’s going to be a summit of NATO heads of State and government to consider the security measures to be taken vis-à-vis the Alliance’s countries which are vulnerable, because of their proximity to Russia – I’m thinking particularly of the action President Macron decided yesterday to step up our own presence in Estonia, to step up our presence in Romania. All this results in a kind of new robustness on the part of the European Union, and ultimately the allies, and this is the opposite effect Putin was looking for. But this affirmation of solidarity and firmness will have to be continued in the coming weeks.
Yesterday you described him as a cynic and dictator, this morning you’re describing the headlong rush towards authoritarianism; can Vladimir Putin still be stopped?
Listen, we’re doing everything to make that happen. I think he’s going to be the pariah of the international community; later on there’s going to be a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at which he’s going to find himself isolated; he won’t be able to go on being alone in the world, continuously being an aggressor and wanting to spread war as a means of governance.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy talked about a new iron curtain in Europe. We’re obviously talking about a Cold War again; are you talking in these terms?
It’s a new situation, it isn’t the same thing as the Cold War any more, because there was no war with the Cold War. What’s new is that there’s a war at the heart of Europe, and it’s in this sense that Vladimir Putin is a merchant of war. (…)
The President of the Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, addresses the French people
Paris - February 24, 2022
Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
February 24, 2022
As the French President said this morning, France condemns in the strongest terms the military invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia overnight. It also condemns the use of Belarusian territory authorized by the Lukashenko regime to carry out this aggression against a sovereign country. This choice of war is a brutal violation of international law. It will bring immediate, massive consequences and a severe cost, as the Europeans have announced with their partners several times. I express my full solidarity with Ukraine’s democratically elected authorities and with the Ukrainian people at this difficult time. France will further strengthen its support for Ukraine, in all forms.
This morning a crisis unit was activated at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Center. In conjunction with the crisis unit activated in Kyiv by our embassy, which is fully operational and focused on its task, it is making active efforts to coordinate support for French nationals who are still on Ukrainian territory at this time. This action will also serve to coordinate the various State departments involved in handling the situation. Advice will be passed on to the French community in real time, as the crisis we’re witnessing unfolds.