The two former French and German government leaders who turned to business in Russia, unlike the Italian and Austrian government leaders, are not willing to abandon their posts.
Should European leaders who have turned to business in Russia resign to show their opposition to Russia’s aggression? This question is currently splitting former government leaders. Some wanted to sever all businesses that broke ties with the country in order to express their opposition to the Vladimir Putin administration, while others refused to do so.
This is the case for Francois Fillon, Prime Minister from 2007 to 2012 and a candidate for the 2017 presidential election.Former head of government of France Joined the board of directors of Russian petrochemical giant Ciboure last DecemberIn particular, it is dominated by one of Russia’s wealthiest men, Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko, a close companion to President Putin, and is subject to recent sanctions from the United Kingdom.
However, when he condemned the use of force in Ukraine, François Fillon received a lot of criticism for lamenting “Western refusal” to hear Russia’s allegations about NATO.
“In 2014, I regretted the terms of the merger of Crimea, and today I condemn the use of force in Ukraine,” former Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy asserted on Twitter. But for ten years I have warned that Westerners refuse to take into account Russia’s demands for NATO enlargement. This attitude today leads to dangerous conflicts that may have been avoided. “
“A dictator’s ally”
A speech that was highly criticized by most political parties.
“No, there is no other way. War is the act of those who decide to do it. This semi-blame does not respect you,” LREM Vice President Yaël Braun-Pivet of the Law Commission said on Twitter. I did.
At LCI on Wednesday night, environmental candidate Yannick Jadot described Francois Fillon as “an ally of dictators at war in Europe.”
Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said on Sunday that he became an “accomplice” to Vladimir Putin by joining the Ciboure Group.
Of the presidential candidates, only Valerie Pécrès did not want to blame the position of former head of government. “François Fillon has left politics,” and “you have the right to make a living, we have to leave him alone,” she commented. BFM TV This Wednesday.
In Germany, too, there have been growing criticisms of the status of former government leaders for several weeks. They are today the chairman of the board of directors of Russia’s first oil group, Rosneft, and the former prime minister of the shareholders’ committee of the controversial Russian and German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 (1998-). 2005). Monday by Germany.
“Schrader is not the government”
Former Russian Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Francois Fillon, as well as the former boss of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, who specifically launched the first section of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in 2011 in front of Angela Merkel, were posted. In a message condemned Russia’s intervention at Linked In.
“The war and the suffering it brings to the Ukrainian people must end as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the Russian government. In recent years, much has been said about the mistakes and shortcomings in the relationship between the West and Russia. There were many mistakes-on both sides. ” Gerhard Schroeder, who became a nuisance in his own country because of his close relationship with Vladimir Putin, wrote.
Former Finance Ministers are also calling on Westerners not to break their ties with Russia.
“For the future, care must be taken that the necessary sanctions do not completely break the political, economic and civil ties that still exist between Europe and Russia,” he said in June. Schröder, 77, who has become, advises. Auditors of the Russian giant Gazprom.
A nuisance to the current Prime Minister Olaf Scholz of the same party as Schroeder.
“Gerhard Schroeder does not speak on behalf of the government, he does not work for the government and he is not the government,” he told the head of the German government during his trip to Washington on February 7. Reminded me.
If all eyes are on former German and French government leaders, it is because other former European political leaders have chosen to defeat their Russian interests.
This is the case for the former Italian and Finnish Prime Ministers, and the former Austrian Prime Minister who announced on Thursday that he had resigned from the board of directors of the Russian company in which they were sitting.
Matteo Renzi thus announced Financial Times He resigned from Russia’s largest car-sharing service, Delimobile, founded by Italian businessman Vincenzo Trani in response to Russia’s military action. The former Prime Minister said he sent an email of his resignation on Thursday.
Same as above for former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho, who left his post on Thursday at Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank where he has worked for six years. Also, between 2016 and 2017, Austrian Prime Minister Christian Kern resigned from the board of directors of the Russian Railways Company (RZD) on Thursday morning.
“RZD is now part of the Russian War Logistics and declared Christian Kern in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard. I deeply regret it. My thoughts are on the victims of this pointless attack. I have.”