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French PM warns election result could undermine support for Ukraine

Gabriel Attal has claimed that the right-wing National Rally could make sweeping changes to the country’s foreign policy

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal © Getty Images / Sean Gallup

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal has warned that the right-wing National Rally party, a favourite in upcoming parliamentary elections, could make “very serious changes” to the country’s position on both domestic and international issues if it comes to power.

President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the French government and announced a snap election earlier this month following his party’s defeat in the European Parliament elections. France is set to go to the polls to choose a new National Assembly on June 30, with a second round scheduled for July 7.

Speaking on the BFM TV channel on Thursday, Attal expressed particular concern that victory for right-wing parties in the upcoming vote could lead to a potential “Frexit,” referring to Britain’s exit from the EU in 2020, and result in the”cessation of a significant part of assistance to Ukraine.” This, according to the prime minister, could increase the “risk of submission to Russia.”

Similar concerns have also been expressed by several other EU governments, according to a recent Bloomberg report. A number of European nations reportedly believe that Macron’s defeat could weaken France’s role as one of Kiev’s main backers, and could also affect plans to send military instructors to Ukraine.

Gilles Ivaldi, a political scientist at Sciences Po university, told the outlet that a National Rally prime minister would have a “totally antagonistic” position to Macron, whose presidency continues until 2027. This would affect issues such as Russia, Ukraine, European defense, and climate change, and would lead to a “weakening of Europe.”

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However, National Rally Chairman Jordan Bardella has stated that, if he comes to power, he would continue to provide ammunition to Ukraine, but would not send any French military personnel to the conflict zone nor supply Kiev with long-range missiles.

“My position has not changed. It is to support Ukraine by providing equipment, ammunition, operational logistics support, and defense weapons so that Ukraine can defend itself,” Bardella said.

Meanwhile, Moscow has repeatedly condemned the West’s continued military aid to Kiev, and has warned against sending any NATO troops to the country, insisting that such a move would constitute the West’s direct involvement in the conflict, and that they would become legitimate targets for the Russian military.


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