France Should Take Independent Stance From NATO, Ex-Presidential Candidate Says

Europe

In the wake of the US decision to unilaterally withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty over Russia’s alleged violations, NATO allies immediately voiced support for the move.

France’s foreign policy should be independent from NATO, and Paris should not interfere in the escalation of tensions between the United States and Russia, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the party La france Insoumise (Unbowed France) and 2017 candidate for president, penned in an op-ed for French newspaper Liberation.

“The risk is there in Europe since the announcement by the United States of the installation in Poland of missiles turned towards Russia.  It is therefore urgent to get out of this escalation by taking an independent stance from NATO. […] The fear of Russians is absurd! These are our natural partners”, the French politician wrote.

His remarks come just a month after the United States announced the suspension of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

At the same time, the US gave Russia six months to “return to compliance” with the agreement as Washington is going through the withdrawal process, and said that the destruction of all ground-launched 9M729 missiles and their launchers was an essential step for the treaty to be salvaged.

In light of of the announcement, NATO allies expressed “full support” for Washington’s withdrawal:

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