The discussion was marked by a few spades between the majority and the National Rally, which criticizes the impact of “counterproductive” sanctions for the purchasing power of the French.
In a hemicycle adorned with Ukrainian flags, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne first praised Ukraine’s “heroism” in the face of Russia, which “hides in cynicism, threat and blackmail”, after the claim by Moscow of the annexation of four regions, strongly condemned by kyiv and the West.
“We are determined that the crimes committed by Russia be documented, tried and punished,” she insisted, attacking Vladimir Putin several times, who “attacks our democratic model”.
The head of government cited “the presence on the front” of the “mercenary company” Wagner, which employs “Russian criminals”.
Without naming the National Rally, she pointed to “simplism” and “talk from the podium”: the sanctions against Russia “work”, she stressed, “no offense to those who hide their fascination for the Russian imperialism through so-called patriotism”.
“Our goal has been the same from the start: to make the cost of war unbearable for Russia,” she said.
Ms. Borne confirmed aid to French people who are hosting Ukrainian refugees. She also announced the organization “in the coming months” in Paris of an economic conference on Ukraine, in order to “mobilize French companies” in the reconstruction of the country.
Previously, the President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet, on her return from Ukraine where she met President Volodymyr Zelensky, had insisted on “the unwavering support of the French National Assembly for Ukraine and its people. “.
Present in the stands, Ambassador Vadym Omelchenko received a standing ovation from the deputies.
This debate without a vote, organized under article 50-1 of the Constitution, will also take place in the Senate on October 26.
– “Creditors –
In the majority, the head of the Renaissance deputies Aurore Bergé challenged “those who call to question the sanctions” and “play with the fears of our fellow citizens”. “Speak directly to your creditors”, she launched in the direction of the RN.
The far-right party contracted in 2014 a loan of 9 million euros from a Russian firm, Aviazapchast, led by former soldiers, still being repaid.
The RN puts the blame on the French banks and their refusal to lend him money at the time.
RN speaker, Jérôme Buisson castigated “the negligence of defense policy” and “the negligence of energy” of the government. Instead of comprehensive sanctions, his party favors “targeted sanctions” aimed at the oligarchs, he explained.
The National Rally also maintains its opposition to the delivery of offensive weapons, believing that it would make France a “co-belligerent”.
France is considering new deliveries of military equipment to Ukraine, in particular 6 to 12 Caesar guns taken from an order intended for Denmark.
On the right, Jean-Louis Thiériot (LR) returned back to back “Stalinist atavism” from “the far left” and the “cult of the strong man” from the “ultra right”.
On the left, the boss of the socialist group Boris Vallaud pleaded in a motion for a resolution for “the full sovereignty of the borders of Ukraine recognized in 1991” (with Crimea and Donbass), an increase in French military aid and of welcoming Ukrainian refugees.
The socialist also promised an amendment to the budget so that “dividends and other gains from” French “companies residing in Russia are seized and paid to Ukraine”. The oil group TotalEnergies “cannot receive without qualms the 440 million euros in dividends in the 1st half of 2022 for its stake in (the Russian company) Novatek”, he launched.
The leader of LFI Mathilde Panot condemned like the other speakers the Russian aggression. Then she was booed by the majority when she said that “the war in Ukraine cannot be used as an argument to wage a social war against the French”.