War in Ukraine: Putin, Refugees, Role of China… Jean-Yves Le Drian’s Conference in Montpellier

This Monday, March 7, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves le Drian was in Montpellier for a press conference of the informal meeting of the European Union’s development ministers. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, also took the floor.

Josep Borrell spoke first. It is not surprising that the Russian offensive in Ukraine is being tackled directly. “We are in a process of systematic destruction, not only military but also civilian.”

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— France Diplomacyud83cuddebud83cuddf7ud83cuddeaud83cuddfa (@francediplo) March 7, 2022

“We are already at 1.6 million refugees who have crossed the border, and we expect up to 5 million. We have not seen such a large influx of refugees since the Second World War. They will have to be accommodated by European countries.”

“We have already registered EUR 100 million in aid for our partners. We have worked for EUR 500 million for Ukraine, as announced by the President of the European Commission.”

Josep Borrell in Montpellier on the#Ukraine️ “We are already at 1.6 million refugees who have crossed the border and we expect up to 5 million. We have not seen such a large influx of refugees since the Second World War. They will have to be welcomed.”

– Midi Libre (@Midilibre) March 7, 2022

“For the future, we must move to concrete and realistic offers to create a geopolitical Europe. We must be more determined in defending our interests. The Ukrainian crisis has had a catalytic effect in this direction.”

Ecological issues were also discussed during this meeting, but they seem secondary in this context.

Putin seeks denial of Ukraine

Then Jean-Yves le Drian spoke in turn: “Humanitarian aid of 500 million euros has been announced by the European Union. We decided in France to allocate 100 million euros for refugees and have moved.”

“What is sought is Ukraine’s denial. Let it bend. President Putin’s negotiating terms are negotiating terms for submission.”

Jean-Yves Le Drian in Montpellier on the#Ukraine️ : “What is wanted is Ukraine’s denial. Let it bend. President Putin’s negotiating terms are negotiating terms for submission.”

– Midi Libre (@Midilibre) March 7, 2022

“What strikes me most is that the EU is united, quick in its decisions, strong and courageous. The Europe we have today is no longer the Europe we had ten days ago.”

What will be the role of China?

Josep Borrell: “I have asked China to do its best to reach a ceasefire, even though China is closer to Russia. China can play an important role if it wants to find a diplomatic solution.”

Jean-Yves Le Drian in Montpellier on the#Ukraine “China can put pressure on Russia, and the fact that it abstained from voting in the Security Council shows that there is no full agreement between China and Russia.”

– Midi Libre (@Midilibre) March 7, 2022

Le Drian: “The President of the Republic will meet with the Chinese President tomorrow. China can put pressure on Russia, and the fact that it abstained from voting in the Security Council shows that there is no total agreement between China and Russia.”

Jean-Yves Le Drian in Montpellier on the#Ukraine “We have the same scenario at Russian headquarters that is repeated all the time: bombing, humanitarian corridor, canceling the corridor, attempting negotiations, breaking off negotiations and bombing again.”

– Midi Libre (@Midilibre) March 7, 2022

And the minister spoke again: “We are entering a very difficult period, namely that of the sieges. However, with the Russian sieges we have the same scenario that repeats itself over and over: bombardment, humanitarian corridor, cancellation of the corridor, “attempted negotiations, broken negotiations and new bombing raids. This is what happened in Aleppo. There is a principle of free humanitarian access everywhere that is currently being violated. I do not share the concept of a “humanitarian corridor”. †