Some French politicians are charging that President Francois Hollande’s Russian policy is made at the U.S. State Department and are calling on France to cooperate with Russia, sharply contrasting Hollande’s policy with that of General Charles de Gaulle, who insisted that Paris serve as a bridge between the West and the Soviet bloc.
French deputy Thierry Mariani told RT, “I am wondering whether France has its own foreign policy. I have an impression that we are merely an additional section of the U.S. State Department and that French foreign policy is conducted by copying and pasting the belligerent U.S. model,” Mariani said, adding that in the past two-and-a-half decades, relations between Russia and France have never been as tense as they are now. “I think that the American policy that we back and implement is leading us to a catastrophe,” he lamented.
Deputy Valérie Boyer added that Hollande decided not to meet with Putin, due to pressure from Washington.
“Hollande has looked to the US and is not trying to understand what truly is in the interests of Europe or Russia. This has been a constant of French diplomacy since Hollande came to power. In this respect France has no autonomy,” Boyer said. She described Russia as a “friend and ally” of France. “France’s attitude to Russia is shocking to me. Like Europe, France is not interested in its diplomatic relations with Russia being so tense. I find attempts aimed at reviving the Cold War between Russia and Europe stupid.”
In an interview with Sputnik, French Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo said that he was “very sorry” that President Vladimir Putin had cancelled his visit to France. “This is God-knows-what on the part of Hollande,” he said. Instead, Putin and Hollande need to engage in a “discreet dialogue,” he said. Both leaders “know each other and could discuss all the issues without Hollande putting on an act. I am deeply sorry that the visit has been cancelled. This has caused additional unnecessary tensions. What we need is a dialogue with Russia so that we could find the ways to resolve the Syrian conflict.”