On Tuesday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declared an “all-out economic and financial war” against Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invas
On Tuesday, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire declared an “all-out economic and financial war” against Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He warned France is seeking to “cause the collapse of the Russian economy” through sanctions. The minister later rolled back on his comments, insisting the word “war” was not compatible with France’s efforts to lower tensions. Mr Le Maire, quoted in Reuters, stressed: “We are not in a battle against the Russian people.” But opponents of Mr Macron’s Government said the climb down came too little, too late.
Florian Philippot, MEP and leader of The Patriots, said Mr Le Maire ought to have resigned after stoking further international tensions.
In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “Bruno Le Maire almost started a war yesterday with his completely irresponsible remarks!
“This morning he is still a minister!
“At his level, you don’t apologise after that, you resign!”
An official of the same party, Joffrey Bollée, added the messaging reflected a wider thirst within the EU to create a sense of belonging by “inventing an external enemy”.
He said: “The EU has such a thirst for existence that its supporters are ready to jeopardise the balance of the world for this.
“Europeanists have been trying for years to build a sense of ‘European’ belonging by inventing an external enemy.
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“All forces of resistance must unite.”
Mr Macron recently called Putin to demand a ceasefire is enacted and talks are conducted to bring the conflict to an end.
Talks took place on the border of Belarus late last week, but these were unfruitful.
While France, along with much of the West, has imposed sanctions against Russia and has touted its solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle against Putin, numerous politicians have urged the Élysée Palace not to get overly involved due to the risk of exploding tensions into a much larger conflict than is already underway.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.