What are the dangers of France's interference in Ukraine and the South Caucasus?

19.04.24 13:37

Despite the obvious problems with its former African colonies, which one by one are trying to escape the tutelage of Paris, France continues its neo-colonial imperialist policy. And today France is actively "climbing" into the post-Soviet space, taking advantage of the slightest loopholes. Recently, such a "loophole" appeared in Ukraine. And it happened "by chance".


After two years of war, Ukraine is finding it increasingly difficult to resist the Russian army because of the reduction in Western, mainly American, military aid. France is also helping Ukraine, albeit in a more modest way.


And now, when the US has once again "hung up" on the issue of the law on the allocation of aid to Ukraine, France has become very active in the Ukrainian direction. First, French President Emmanuel Macron declared in his introduction that he would not allow Ukraine to be defeated and expressed his readiness to send French troops, not anywhere, but to Odessa, requesting a "French base" on the shores of the Black Sea.


French troops very quickly appeared in Ukraine, though not yet in Odessa, but in Donbass. It became known that the first unit of the French Foreign Legion arrived in the city of Slaviansk. The soldiers of the 3rd infantry regiment have joined the 54th mechanised brigade of the AFU.


The introduction of units of the French Foreign Legion was actually prepared a long time ago, and this is indirectly proved by the fact that since the summer of 2023 the head of the French Foreign Legion is a "French military veteran" of Ukrainian origin, although he has French citizenship: 66-year-old Viktor Yushchenko.


The question arises: was Washington's reduction of military aid to Ukraine "coordinated" with Paris? To what end? So that the French military presence in Ukraine would be perceived as a "salvation" under the conditions of Russia's harsh military pressure on all fronts.


It is clear that the presence of the French Foreign Legion in Ukraine, with the prospect of a French military base in Odessa on the Black Sea coast, cannot please Turkey, a country that is helping Ukraine much more than France.


Meanwhile, it is with Turkey that Ukraine, as a mediator in its relations with Russia, "by a strange coincidence" has not been doing well lately. Recently it emerged that Russia and Ukraine, with Turkey's mediation, had almost reached an agreement on ensuring the safety of commercial shipping in the Black Sea and had even agreed on the text of the regulations. But, according to a Reuters source, "at the very last minute" Ukraine suddenly withdrew from the agreement and the deal was "derailed". Moreover, this "suddenness" somehow coincided with France sending its troops into Ukraine. It is unlikely that such coincidences are "entirely coincidental".


However, France is much more active and brazen in the South Caucasus. Moreover, the French seem to have established an "outpost" in the Republic of Armenia.


So far, Armenia is formally a member of the CSTO, i.e. an ally of Russia. However, relations between Russia and Armenia are currently experiencing a period of rapid deterioration. The possibility of withdrawing Russian border guards and the Gyumri military base from Armenia has already been raised. In response, the Republic of Armenia has initiated a programme of arms procurement from France, a member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In February of this year, for the first time in history, the French Minister of Defence arrived in Yerevan with representatives of French defence companies. Armenia is to receive armoured vehicles, radar equipment, night-vision goggles, sniper rifles and portable anti-aircraft missile systems. And Armenian officers will be trained in France.


At the same time, France has long had an aggressive anti-Azerbaijani stance. Back when the separatists were sitting in Khankendi, the French parliament recognised the fake separatist "Artsakh". France made a hysterical show of the "blockade of the Lachin corridor" and sent a "humanitarian landing force" to the region, led by Anne Hidalgo, Nathalie Loiseau and other lobbyists for Armenia and the "Artsakh" separatists. At the same time, despite the fact that the so-called "Artsakh" was finally liquidated by the Azerbaijani army last September, the so-called "representation" of this non-existent entity is still active in Paris!


After the liquidation of "Artsakh", France organised a large-scale anti-Azerbaijani campaign in the European Union and the European Parliament, as well as in the French and world media.  France did its best to pass anti-Azerbaijani resolutions in the UN Security Council. 


France, too, does not shy away from petty anti-Azerbaijani mischief. In early 2024, an act of vandalism was committed against the monument of the famous Azerbaijani poet of the XIX century, Khurshidban Natavan, which had to be moved to the territory of the cultural centre of the Azerbaijani embassy in Paris.


France also carries out subversive activities in Azerbaijan itself. At the end of March, the head of Azerbaijan's State Security Service, Ali Nagiyev, declared that France is not only actively arming Armenia and pushing it into a new revanchist war over Karabakh, but is also creating a spy network in Azerbaijan.


Recently, the French Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador from Baku "for consultations". In response to the ambassador's recall, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry in its statement noted France's destructive activities in the region and the Azerbaijanophobic atmosphere prevailing in that country.


"The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly told France that it is fruitless to talk to us in the language of threats and pressure. We reiterate that Azerbaijan will take all necessary measures to protect its national interests," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


The sharp deterioration in Azerbaijani-French relations comes against the backdrop of France being one of the main parties destabilising the political situation in Georgia, which has become more complicated after the country's parliament drafted and passed in the first reading of the bill "On Transparency of Foreign Influence.". This law aims to limit foreign interference in the country's internal affairs. It provides for the registration of non-governmental organisations and mass media that receive a certain amount of income—more than 20 percent—from abroad.


There has been unrest in Georgia for several days. The law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence" was opposed by the pro-Western opposition and the embassies of leading Western countries, especially France. It is noteworthy that a French citizen and now President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili (a former employee of the French Foreign Ministry), became a lobbyist for foreign (including French) influence in Georgia and sided with the opposition.


France's objective is to destabilise the situation in Georgia in order to "break a corridor" to its "military outpost" in Armenia. This, in conjunction with France's "rush to the Black Sea" through Ukraine, has the potential to significantly complicate the situation in the South Caucasus region. It can be reasonably assumed that the hypothetical "military corridor" France-Ukraine-Black Sea-Georgia-Armenia will not contribute to peace in the South Caucasus region or the development of transit through the Middle Corridor, which is vital for the Georgian economy today.


Grigol Giorgadze

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