French MEP dismantles EU foreign policy as he accuses Brussels of ‘inventing ghosts’

Russia: EU need ‘united stance against policy’ says expert

The French politician lambasted the European Parliament’s decision to pass a resolution on Thursday calling for the bloc to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which will take Russian natural gas to Europe, in response to Navalny’s arrest.

Mr Thierry addressed his colleagues in Brussels ahead of the vote on the resolution blasting those calling for sanctions on Russia as he claimed: “Moscow poses no danger.”

He said: “On 8 June 1978, at Harvard, Alexander Solzhenitsyn gave a speech often described as prophetic.

“He said: ‘The Western way of life appears less and less as the guiding model. There are meaningful warnings which history gives a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, the decadence of art, or a lack of great statesmen.’

“The EU did not listen to Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

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“Worse, it presents the recovery of Russia operated by Vladimir Putin as dangerous.

“Who really believes that Moscow is a danger to Paris, Rome or Berlin? In order not to see that Europe’s influence is diminishing, the Commission is inventing ghosts.

“In order not to have the courage to emancipate itself from the tutelage of the United States and NATO, the EU is ready for all sanctions, all provocations against Moscow.

“Alexei Navalny is not a major player in Russian politics.

“His positions are also sometimes opposite to the ideas defended in Brussels.

“I remind you that Mr Navalny affirms that Crimea will remain Russian for a very long time.

“His poisoning, yes, deserves an international investigation according to the law in force.

“That is to say, after assessing the quality of the Russian investigation.

“Out of blindness, the EU therefore insists on supporting any possible opposition to Putin.

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“It is the reverse of diplomacy and the opposite of what the EU should be used for: to support the interests of our nations.

“Unless, of course, the EU seeks to support the interests of another State that has recently shown us the end of its world domination.

“This is what Solzhenitsyn announced: blind, we no longer see that discussions such as the ones we are having at the moment no longer arouse the admiration of the world.

“Quite the opposite, they cause consternation.”

A senior European Union official told Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone on Friday to release opposition politician Alexei Navalny and demanded an investigation into the Kremlin critic’s poisoning last August.

Navalny was detained in Russia on Sunday after flying home from Germany for the first time since being poisoned with what tests conducted at a German military laboratory showed was a military-grade nerve agent.

“In my call with President Putin today, I reiterated (that the) EU is united in its condemnation of Alexei Navalny’s detention and calls for his immediate release,” European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits, wrote on Twitter.

“Russia must urgently proceed with full and transparent investigation into the assassination attempt on him.”

Navalny says Putin was behind his poisoning last August, a version of events that the Kremlin rejects.

The Kremlin says it has seen no evidence that Navalny was poisoned.

“The President of the European Council informed President Putin of the grave concern in the EU and its member states over recent developments,” Michel’s office said in an official EU statement, referring to Navalny.

EU foreign ministers are expected to debate more economic sanctions on Russian individuals on Monday in Brussels.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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