Le Monde: France to support Ukraine’s NATO ascension

Le Monde has stated that France has reconsidered its stance on Kyiv joining NATO: for the first time in history, the country will support Ukraine’s NATO ascension.

According to Le Monde’s information, the decision was made at a Defence Council meeting at the Elysée Palace on 12 June, closed for the press.

“Defending the prospect of Ukrainian membership of NATO as a means of influencing the conflict and bringing Moscow and Kyiv to the negotiating table, is the approach now favoured by France,” Le Monde says, citing its sources.

This approach will be used in the “delicate discussions” between Ukraine’s allies in the run-up to the annual NATO summit, scheduled for 11 and 12 July and to be hosted by Vilnius.

This prospect could, in fact, convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to enter into negotiations when he deems the time is right, depending on the results of the counteroffensive, Le Monde believes.

Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration is an option now considered by Paris to be a security guarantee in its own right, since it could discourage Russia from continuing the war or, should the conflict come to an end, prevent any further aggression.

“The French position is now closer to that of Poland than Germany,” a foreign diplomat confirmed to Le Monde.

The Defence Council meeting took place in the morning of 12 June, and was followed by talks between Emmanuel Macron and the Polish president Andrzej Duda.

Before the meeting, our sources reported that, on the contrary, the purpose of the talks could be to smooth out the differences between the approach of Warsaw and other Eastern Europe and Baltic countries, on the one hand, and Western countries (including the United States, Germany and France) on the other hand, on the issue of Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

If Le Monde’s information about Macron’s change of stance is correct (and so far there has been no doubt about the reliability of its publications), this means that France will openly advocate Ukraine’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance for the first time in its history. This is a sharp turn: at the 2008 NATO summit, it was the French president (Sarkozy) along with German Chancellor Merkel who blocked any rapid entry of Ukraine into the Alliance, unlike the United States.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on 16 June that the alliance was currently working on establishing the NATO-Ukraine Council; its first meeting is scheduled to be held in Vilnius in July, Novaya Gazeta Europe reported.

“We are also working to establish a new NATO-Ukraine Council, where Ukraine will be equal to NATO allies and [where will be able to] consult and decide on security issues of mutual concern. Our ambition is to have the first meeting of the new Council in Vilnius, with [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky,” the NATO chief noted.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.