This Wednesday, October 12, Emmanuel Macron was the exceptional guest of L’Évènement, the brand new political program on France 2. Facing journalist Caroline Roux, the President of the Republic spoke bluntly on the hot topics of the moment. including the war in Ukraine, the nuclear threat and the energy crisis.
During this meeting which lasted almost an hour, the Head of State loguement evoked the conflict between Russia and Ukraine which entered “an unprecedented phase”. He notably reaffirmed his support for Ukraine “in its resistance without participating in the war”. “We don’t want a world war. You have to be responsible and that’s also protecting the French,” he said. In particular, he returned to intelligence and arms deliveries to the Ukrainians. He assured that the military aid provided to Ukraine does not jeopardize the security of France.
On “war aims”, the president made his difference heard with Ukraine, which wants to regain its 1991 borders, and therefore take back Crimea, unilaterally annexed by Moscow in 2014, and the territories of Donbass. According to him, the solution cannot be only military and will go through a negotiation, as soon as kyiv is ready for it. As for the nuclear threat, Emmanuel Macron mentioned the subject: “Russia is an endowed state, like France. There is a simple rule. We have a doctrine: deterrence works, but then, the less we talk about it, the less we wave the threat, the more credible we are”.
Regarding the repercussions of the war on energy prices and in particular those of gas in the European Union, the Head of State defended his strategy, campaigning for an overhaul of the European energy market. The latter has rolled out a three-step plan: “One: convince operators to lower the price. Two: set up a mechanism which consists of putting a ceiling on the price of the gas we use to produce our electricity”. Three, finally, “get a change from the market from within”. He also estimated that “Europe has been too dependent on Russian gas. About 40% of the gas we bought came from Russia, today it’s 7.5%.”
Regarding the fuel shortage, Emmanuel Macron said that the return to normal would take place “during the coming week”. He made a point of emphasizing that this has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. The President of the Republic specified that this is a social conflict which concerns two companies, Total and Esso-ExxonMobil, which have made “significant profits”. He called for social dialogue, as well as the responsibility of the various actors. “It is important that the management gets back around the table and that the unions do it, and that there are no diehards” “I am for negotiation, never for blocking” declared the chief of State. And to add: “I have a thought for our compatriots who line up in the middle of the night to find gasoline”. On the other hand, if the social dialogue does not succeed, he has made it known that he will not hesitate to requisition.
Emmanuel Macron also spoke on various subjects. While the issue of global warming is addressed in the debate, the Head of State announced that France does not support the TotalEnergies drilling project in Uganda. As a reminder, this project aims to create a gigantic pipeline to transport oil to Tanzania. However, the group is accused of not taking into account the potential environmental damage linked to this project. “The priority of priorities to fight against global warming is to get out of coal. This is the heart of the effort,” he said.
Emmanuel Macron replied to the letter from the writer Sylvain Tesson which evokes the aggression of Armenia by Azerbaijan. “Armenia is a country with which we have a unique bond,” the president said. “Armenia first suffered a war two years ago by Azerbaijan. In September, Azerbaijan launched a new offensive. We clearly condemned it, Prime Minister Pashinyan came to Paris France allowed the summoning of the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Prague”.
The Head of State spoke about the waves of protests that have shaken Iran for almost a month. He condemns the repressions carried out by the Iranian regime and expressed his “admiration” for the “women” and “young people” who have been demonstrating since September 16, following the death of Mahsa Amini, which occurred three days after his arrest by morality police in Tehran. The 22-year-old Iranian student was arrested and imprisoned in a police station for an ill-fitting veil. According to her relatives, she was the victim of ill-treatment.
Faced with the various crises, the president insisted on the fact that France is resisting better than its neighbors. “The recession will be there for many of our neighbors. We will hold out next year. And we must continue to make reforms, to invest and to be united,” he said. “We have a course. And so, we are resisting crises. What is this course? It is to be this great, independent nation, in a stronger Europe, which will succeed in building carbon neutrality by creating more jobs and funding social justice,” he concluded.
Emmanuel Macron will again be invited to the show on October 26 to discuss “French emergencies”, more particularly on energy sobriety and pension issues.
[Last update at 10:15 p.m.]