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Florence Parly: "Arms control concerns all Europeans"


The French Minister of Armies explains the dialogue with Moscow.

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Florence Parly, September 6, 2019 in Paris. Frédéric Stucin for "The World"

The "2 + 2", a meeting of foreign and defense ministers from France and Russia, resumes on Monday 9 September in Moscow. It was suspended because of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. The French Minister of Armies, Florence Parly, explains this revival of the bilateral dialogue desired by Emmanuel Macron.

Is Crimea going through losses and profit, in the name of the necessary dialogue with Moscow?

If I engaged in dialogue with my counterpart through this channel, the meeting would be short. This is the reason why President Macron wants to resume the field, to put the relationship with Russia in a more global context. There are few exchanges with Russia even though it plays a role in crises that have a direct impact on us Europeans. Moreover, we can not remain neither spectators nor hostages because the treaties that governed arms control in Europe are being emptied of their substance.

I do not enter into historical speculation as to whether or not Crimea falls within the natural field of influence of the East or the West. We can consider that until the acute crises in Ukraine and Crimea have been resolved, we block everything else. The stability of the world and security in Europe will not be improved. One can also say that it is not forbidden to try to relaunch what is a prerequisite in international relations: the fact of dialogue.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Macron assumes its Russian turn

Our point of entry, legitimate, is the security of the French, stability in Europe. The President invites us, the Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs and myself, to continue the dialogue he has engaged with President Putin without any naivety. It is a question of restoring a normal framework of discussion, not of coming closer without conditions.

After the US withdrawal in August of the Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe (INF), how do you envisage the discussion on arms control?

Historically, arms control treaties have essentially been concluded between the United States and the USSR and then Russia. We, Europeans, can not stay on the balcony and suffer their collapse. It is not comfortable to be within range of missiles. Confidence rules leading to arms control in Europe, be they conventional or nuclear, must be recreated. France is seeking to create the conditions for enhanced security in Europe. It can be done by creating a common strategic culture, by multiplying the programs of cooperation between Europeans. But you also need architecture.

Source: lemonde

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