“I find this authoritarian drift very disturbing”, judged on France Inter, franceinfo and The world the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian invited to “Political questions”, while he was questioned on the thousands of arrests Sunday January 24 on the sidelines of demonstrations in Russia in support of Alexeï Navalny.
“I find the questioning of the rule of law, by these collective and preventive arrests, unbearable. I also find that the success of the plural demonstrations on the whole of Russian territory is impressive”, underlines Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“All light must be shed on the Navalny affair”, repeats the French Minister of Foreign Affairs. “The fact that he was poisoned is an assassination attempt. It was done in Russia, with a Russian chemical, on a Russian personality. So it seems normal to me that an investigation be carried out. , a clarification “. Jean-Yves Le Drian believes that the Russian authorities “wanted to have a position of denial on reality”.
The French Minister recalls that “sanctions” were taken with regard to Russia, “including against the environment of President Putin”. “In the last quarter, the whole of Europe took action” for a travel ban and an asset freeze “a certain number of personalities”. These sanctions, “we have to make them really operational, the discussion on this point will take place” Monday “at the level of the European Council”, indicates the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
This “worrying drift” of the Russian diet “calls into question a little the desire for confidence and security that we can have with regard to Russia”, says Jean-Yves Le Drian. He recalls that an initiative had been taken in Brégançon at the end of August 2019, but “it does not advance much”.
So is Vladimir Poutin still an interlocutor for France? “I would say that despite everything: Russia is not going to move, the geography is stubborn. Russia is our neighbor and we have questions of security and trust. And we are stubborn in finding a way to make sure that forms discussion can take place while being extremely clear and extremely firm on the authoritarian drift that we are seeing “, says Jean-Yves Le Drian.