France Succeeded in Changing Its Attitude toward Ukraine

13 MARCH 2023

The second Ukraine-France forum on Friday proved that changes in France, primarily among the authorities, to Ukraine are indeed happening. The first such forum was held a year ago in Paris in early February 2022. At that time, it felt like the French elites frankly lacked Ukraine’s understanding.

This time it was important to hear that French diplomacy has already changed its opinion about Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic prospects and is openly talking about the need to “correct Bucharest’s mistake.”

The editor of “European Pravda,” Sergiy Sydorenko, followed the discussion. Read more in his article Ukrainian Lessons for France: How Big Invasion Made Paris Believe in NATO Expansion (Ukr).

The French elites, and above all President Macron, have an image of those seeking reconciliation with Russia in Ukraine.

French society is keen on romanticising Russia, which Moscow fueled up systematically and for years long.

The great invasion has fundamentally changed the attitude towards Russian-Ukrainian relations in expert and political circles.

Throughout the Ukraine-France forum, there was a constant understanding that the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine has no alternatives.

Some French authorities said that the point of no return in relations with the Russian Federation has long passed.

Moreover, the current government admits that they were wrong until now.

Parliamentarian Benjamin Haddad, head of the “France-Ukraine” friendship group in the National Assembly, assured that the French authorities are preparing to support Ukraine with weapons until it wins and after it. In particular, Kyiv can count on the new 155-millimeter “Caesars.” “The production of Caesars has tripled,” he announced.

What to do with the French “Russophilia”?

Benjamin Haddad finds this problem somewhat exaggerated. There is no public demand for reconciliation with Russia. Therefore, even if powers change, inevitable in a democracy, the policy launched now will stay in force.

However, if French help with weapons is an approved and already stable policy of Paris, then the attitude to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic prospects declared at the forum became definitely important news.

Ukraine’s EU accession is procedurally much more complicated than NATO’s. Therefore, Paris showed its support for EU membership last summer. Historically, it happened France presided over the EU in the first half of 2022 and Macron had a chance to show his leadership.

“It was France that gave the impetus for the decision (to consider Ukraine’s application) at the summit in March 2022, when we still did not understand whether Ukraine would be able to survive as a state. Then the EU made some decisions that allowed us to survive. We are very grateful to France for its role,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna underlined in her speech at the forum.

Paris understands clearly today that Ukraine is a future EU member.

However, there are more questions than answers about the French presence in Ukraine in the post-war recovery.

Of course, everyone favours a role for France. Of course, everyone is sure that France will also find the funds. But more detailed questions remained unanswered at the forum.

For example, there is no clear understanding of how Russian assets will be transferred to restore Ukraine. However, everyone understands: although this process is necessary, it will be long.

Although, there is some optimism in France. The best indicator is the behaviour of private businesses that see the need to be present in Ukraine despite the war.

“Since the Russian invasion, not a single French company has left Ukraine, although some have reorganised,” said Bertrand Barrier, chairman of the board of the French-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We think that the companies already present in Ukraine will be among the first to want to invest more.”


  1. It’s nice to hear something really positive from France. It was a tough battle, but they are finally coming around to the right side of history.

  2. The French are still being very cheap. Their contribution is still minuscule in comparison with the US, Poland, UK etc.
    That said, the defenders are pleased with the Caesar; it’s an important part of their inventory. It would help a lot if they double or triple the number of pieces.
    Pisscough has rejected any negotiation; stating that they will impose a military solution.
    Ukraine must win and the allies must help them a LOT more.

    • Even if pest-cough or putler or whoever would agree to a nonmilitary solution, it would still not be a solution, unless they exit Ukraine completely, and that isn’t going to happen. Thus, there is only a military solution possible, and so what pest-cough is saying is a total waste of time, just like his life is a complete waste of time.

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