The former presidential candidate in France, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, put the aggressor and the aggressed country on the same level and sought a balanced position on the issue of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
The party Debout la France president called on Russia and Ukraine to “make peace” as soon as possible, lamenting a “drift” of the Ukrainian fight.
France: why are the statements of Dupont-Aignan so close to the Kremlin’s narratives?
If for the former presidential candidate 2022, who had obtained 2% of the votes in the first round, it was the “duty” of France to “defend the sovereignty of Ukraine in the face of aggression,” it is now “necessary to stop economic sanctions, stop the delivery of arms in exchange for a ceasefire and we must come to the negotiating table.
I think that today the fight is drifting,” said the former presidential candidate on the set of the Grand Rendez-vous (Europe 1 – Les Echos – CNews) about the Russia-Ukraine war. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan called on France to “distance itself” from the conflict, in which, he asserted, “the wrongdoings are much more shared than we say.
He forgot to condemn Russia’s deadly invasion and Russian war crimes. The French MP didn’t explain who Ukraine can negotiate with Putin when Russian troops are bombarding Ukrainian cities and energy infrastructure, and the Russian war propaganda machine demands a war till the destruction of the Ukrainian state.
Conversely, while legitimizing the Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invaders, Dupont-Aignan accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky of aiming at “the destruction of Russia.”
Aggressor and aggressed country put on the same level
The politician’s statements struck the presenter, who questioned him: “You put the aggressor and the aggressed country on the same level? And the former presidential candidate replied: “I put them on the same level…”
The former right-wing presidential candidate Nicolas Dupont-Aignan wants to “calm Zelensky,” saying that the Ukrainian president’s objective would be “to be the instrument of the destruction of Russia.” “I think that today the fight is drifting,” said Duponnt-Aignan.
“The objective of Zelensky is no longer to defend Ukraine. By sacrificing his people, he is to be the instrument of the destruction of Russia. And this is a grave mistake,” claimed Nicolas Dupont-Aignan.
Russian propaganda media praised Dupont-Aignan
Russian state propaganda media were delighted to hear these words from an influential politician in Western Europe. Putin’s regime mouthpieces praised Dupont-Aignan’s statements as much as they could.
Let’s mention a few headlines in the Russian media. “Dupont-Aignan: Compromise with Russia would save Europe from destruction” (link). “Ukrainian President Zelensky wants to drag Europe into a third world war with Russia,” said a French MP (link). Zelensky seeks to start World War III – French MP (link).
There is perfect synchronization between Dupont-Aignan’s declaration on French TV and an avalanche of anti-EU and anti-Ukraine publications spread by the Kremlin media in Russia, quoting the French right-wing politician.
Although we’re not saying this was coordinated, or that Dupont-Aignan is a Kremlin agent, or has links to Moscow (such as the former leader of the French far-right Marine Le Pen), he has become a helpful tool for Russian propaganda and did repeat their narratives in the West.
Dupont-Aignan didn’t like that Russia was recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism by the EU parliament
In one of his previous interviews, the French MP Nicolas Dupont-Aignan said, regarding the war in Ukraine, that the European Parliament is only adding fuel to the fire and discrediting itself by designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“It is not about being for Russia; it is not about being for Ukraine. It is about finding a solution so that (…) the Russian population of Donbas can be protected and that Ukraine is a neutral zone that respects the European Union, which is separated, and Russia. And I find it horrific, dangerous, tragic that Europe is committing suicide for the benefit of the United States and China,” said the president of Debout la France.
So, another Moscow war propaganda narrative was repeated – Europe needs a peace agreement, and Europe will suffer economically, while it’s the opposite. Russia is suffering from Western sanctions and the latest defeats on the front lines and desperately seeks a way out of its own catastrophic and failed war operation.
“The Ukrainians are suffering a lot because, let’s not forget, they risk spending a winter without electricity,” he added.
However, mentioning the power outages in Ukraine, Mr. Dupont-Aignan forgot to say its cause and to condemn Russia for this terrorist method in the war of deliberately destroying civilian infrastructure far behind the front lines.
That coincides with Moscow’s goals and Russian propaganda narratives – “start peace negotiations on our conditions; otherwise, we will destroy your civilian infrastructure.”
Are peace talks possible now?
France and many other Western countries have supplied Kyiv with heavy weapons, including Caesar howitzers and MILAN anti-tank weapons. Paris has also imposed sweeping economic restrictions on Moscow.
President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday that NATO member states might have to offer “security guarantees” to Russia when Moscow and Kyiv resume negotiations. Several EU member states severely criticized Macron’s declaration.
The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Kyiv is ready to resume negotiations if “Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.” The Kremlin said such preconditions were unacceptable, pretending that Ukrainian territories became parts of Russia following its fake referendums in late September.
Here, Moscow is talking, among others, about the Kherson region and Kherson city, which was liberated by the Ukrainian army, where Ukrainian soldiers were greeted as heroes by the locals, exhausted by the Russian occupation.
Clearly, in this way, the Russian regime insists on its demand to validate its right to change borders through a war. And Mr. Dupont-Aignan does not have any objections to this; to the contrary, he recommends accepting Moscow’s conditions.
What’s the issue with french right-conservative politicians?
Russia’s war of invasion in Ukraine has highlighted the precariousness of people’s self-determination rights. The heroic fight of the Ukrainians is inspiring for the people of Western Europe. Still, it has also shown the urgency of defending nations’ sovereignty and illustrated the Europeans’ capacity not to submit to intimidation and to stand together.
But the French supporters of national sovereignty, the right conservative politicians, back the national sovereignty only to their homeland, not to the states far from Western Europe, dividing the countries into two types. Those who have the right to national sovereignty and those who don’t.
These politicians preferred to continue playing the role of sounding boards for the Kremlin’s propaganda. They voted against the strengthening of sanctions against Russia in the European Parliament. They abstained from condemning the Russian aggression in the National Assembly (the RN deputies).
Finally, these right-wing politicians regularly share Moscow’s language on the alleged ineffectiveness of sanctions. They have been calling continuously since the beginning of the war for ceasefires or compromises guaranteeing Russian imperialist positions. And we know the names of these political leaders, Éric Ciotti, Marine Le Pen, Jordan Bardella, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and Éric Zemmour, who are very useful for Russian propaganda.
At the same time, right-wing politicians still find nothing to object to the strategy of chaos led by Russia on the EU borders and the anti-French propaganda deployed by the Kremlin’s media and its agents. Nothing about the destructive activities of Wagner and their role in the withdrawal of French troops from Mali.
These events prompted the French President Emmanuel Macron to accuse Russia of spreading disinformation in Africa and advance a predatory project on the continent.
Nothing about the openly anti-French diplomacy carried by Sergei Lavrov to Algeria, on the opposite side of the Mediterranean Sea, where Russian special forces and warships have recently been invited to train.
Marine Le Pen or Éric Zemmour had justified the Crimea annexation by Russia in 2014 by shared history and language characteristics, in violation of international law and the principle of the sovereignty of nations and the freedom of peoples.
Legitimizing this imperialist behavior of Russia would shatter the fragile balances on which international relations have been based since 1945 and would open up a sequence of chaos in which each territory could be the object of an attempt at colonization by a more powerful state or even by several at once.
The Russian regime could then openly annex other former socialist republics such as Estonia, Georgia, Armenia, and Moldova… There would no longer be any obstacle to China’s conquest of Taiwan. And territorial conflicts would multiply.
The right-wing politicians, supportive of imperialist Russia, still are present in the French political landscape; however, their position threatens not only the sovereignty of Ukraine but also the European Union and the national interest of France.