France allowed the introduction of the EU embargo on Russian oil “this week”

State Secretary of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon allowed the EU embargo on Russian oil until May 15 Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry Clement Bon said that the EU could take a decision on the embargo on Russian oil as early as this week. Today Emmanuel Macron will speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban France allowed the EU to impose an embargo on Russian oil “this week” />

The European Union may decide on an embargo on Russian oil this week, Clément Bon, Secretary of State for European Affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, said on the LCI TV channel. the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which provides, in particular, a ban on the supply of crude oil, will appear in the coming days. Bon noted that “the rejection of Russian oil will be sensitive for a number of countries due to their heavy dependence on its supplies.”


Bon added that several European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, are set to speak with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban later today. Budapest opposes phasing out Russian oil, believing it would undermine the security of the country's energy supply and its economy. Von der Leyen has previously said she has made progress in talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on sanctions and energy security.

According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Union intends to refuse the supply of Russian crude oil within six months, and the import of refined products— by the end of 2022. Bloomberg and Reuters wrote that the European Union proposed to ban European courts and companies from providing services related to the transportation of Russian oil, including in the field of insurance.

On May 4, Reuters reported that the ambassadors of the EU countries had not reached an agreement on the embargo, according to the source of the agency, concerns about oil restrictions were expressed by Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Bloomberg noted that a Hungarian representative objected to the embargo, while Greece, Malta and Cyprus raised the issue of banning oil transportation between third countries, saying that this move would help competitors from Europe.

According to Bloomberg, on May 6, the European Union offered to give The Czech Republic has until June 2024 to give up Russian oil, while Hungary and Slovakia— until December 31, 2024.

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Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto spoke that Budapest would not vote for the sixth package in its current form, specifying that the country would like the ban not to apply to imports of crude oil through pipelines. countries.

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Macron inaugurated in France

The re-elected president promised to build a “stronger France” and expressed confidence that the country would show its best in “difficult times.” The ceremony was attended by his predecessors Sarkozy and Hollande

Emmanuel Macron

The inauguration of French President Emmanuel Macron took place at the Elysee Palace. He officially took office as head of state for the next five years.

The ceremony began at 11:00 local time (12:00 Moscow time), according to France24. In total, it was attended by about 450 guests, including former heads of state Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy. According to tradition, 21 cannon shots were fired near the House of Invalids.


Macron vowed to build a “stronger France” during his second term and “a more habitable planet,” reports RFI. He tweeted video clips of his speech and wrote that “France is doing its best in difficult times.”

The presidential elections in France this year were held in two rounds. 12 candidates participated in them. In the second round, as during the 2017 elections, Emmanuel Macron and the leader of the “National Rally” Marine Le Pen. As a result, Macron won 58.54% of the vote and became the first French president since 2002 to win for the second time (the last time it was Jacques Chirac).

After his re-election, Macron promised the French to be a “president for all” ; and work towards a “more just society and equality between women and men”.

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France did not invite Russia to mark the end of World War II

France became the second country that did not invite the Russian delegation to events marking the end of World War II. At the same time, the Immortal Regiment action is allowed in Paris and other cities of the country

The French authorities did not invite Russian representatives to the May 8th celebration of the end of World War II. This was stated by the Ambassador in Paris, Alexei Meshkov, after laying wreaths at the monument to Russian members of the Resistance movement at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, RIA Novosti reports.

“Always send military attaches” first the Soviet Union, then Russia, Belarus as countries that made a decisive contribution to the victory over fascism were invited. This year we did not find a place on the podium. Although the ambassadors of those countries that fought on the side of Nazi Germany will sit there, — said the diplomat.

He urged to remember those who really won the war. At the same time, the ambassador noted that the main “roll of Russophobia” begins to deflate.

The day before, Meshkov, together with the heads of the diplomatic departments of the CIS countries in France, attended a flower-laying ceremony at the Flowers of Freedom memorial; at the Soviet military cemetery in Noyers-Saint-Martin. The Russian Embassy reported this on Telegram. The event was also attended by the mayor of the French city. Then Meshkov announced the holding of the action “Immortal Regiment” in Paris and other French cities.

On May 3, the Russian Embassy in Austria received a notification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country that Russian representatives were not invited to events on May 8 in memory of the liberation of Austria from Nazi occupation and the end of World War II in Europe. At the same time, the Austrian Foreign Ministry promised to honor the memory of thousands of fallen Soviet soldiers.

Ambassador Dmitry Lyubinsky stressed that the Austrian authorities do not understand the significance of the terrible lessons of history and their consequences, which is becoming a problem for bilateral relations.

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At the end of March, the administration of the Buchenwald memorial complexes and “Dora-Mittelbau” did not allow Russian and Belarusian officials to attend a memorial ceremony in honor of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp. The management of the complexes called their presence unacceptable against the background of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. At the same time, the administration assured the diplomats that the ceremony would honor the memory of Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians who died in concentration camps, and lay wreaths in the colors of the national flags of Russia and Belarus at the memorial sign.

Russia also did not invite foreign leaders to the celebration Victory Day in Moscow. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov explained this by saying that the date is not an anniversary.

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Nice-Matin announced the arrest of the Friedman family villa in France

According to Nice-Matin, the property is owned by a company 99% owned by the entrepreneur's daughters. The arrest is related to the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Fridman, according to the publication

Mikhail Fridman

French authorities have arrested the Copab villa, writes Nice-Matin. The publication calls it owned by the family of the founder of Alfa Group. Mikhail Fridman. The area of ​​the villa— 580 sq. m, it is for rent.

The newspaper explains that the property was purchased by Akinita in the late 1990s, later renamed SNC COPAB. According to Nice-Matin, until 2015 this company was owned by the businessman's ex-wife Olga Aiziman, and then 99% of its shares were transferred to Fridman's daughters Laura and Katya.

The European Union imposed sanctions against many Russian businessmen from the end of February, including Friedman. In addition, the founder of Alfa Group was included in the sanctions list of London.

RBC sent a request to Alfa-Bank.

Based in the UK, Friedman compared life under sanctions to life under house arrest. He accused the authors of the sanctions of misunderstanding Russia: according to the entrepreneur, it is impossible to stop the special operation by pressure on business, businessmen cannot influence the president.

After the restrictions, Fridman left the boards of directors of Alfa-Bank, LetterOne, Veon, X5 Retail Group.

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After the imposition of sanctions, the authorities of European countries began to freeze the property of Russian billionaires. France, in particular, seized the property of one of the founders of Alfa Group; Alexei Kuzmichev, Roman Abramovich, Arkady Rotenberg and other businessmen. In France and other countries, several yachts were confiscated, which the authorities of these states associated with Russian entrepreneurs.

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Malian authorities announce the termination of the defense agreement with France

The Malian authorities announced “flagrant violations” of the republic's sovereignty by the French military. Bamako terminated the defense agreement with Paris, which had been in force since 2014 =”The authorities of Mali have announced the termination of the defense agreement with France” />

Mali is terminating the defense agreement with France, announced in a televised speech the official representative of the government, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, who in 2017 was the country's prime minister.

According to him, the Malian authorities “regret the serious deterioration” relations with France and observe “egregious violations” the sovereignty of the republic on the part of the French military, reports France24. In particular, Maiga said, France violated the airspace of Mali several times.

The colonel recalled that in June last year, France, which had been conducting an operation against militants in an African country since 2013, decided to reduce its military contingent there, and in February— withdraw troops from Mali.

Bamako notified Paris of the termination of the agreement, which was concluded in 2014, on the afternoon of Monday, May 2. France has not yet responded to this decision.

The Elysee Palace announced the withdrawal of the French military from Mali on February 17. Members of the French anti-terrorist operation Barhan will leave the country by the end of June. and the Takuba mission, which involves several other European countries. The decision was made “due to numerous obstacles from the Mali transitional authorities.”

Relations between Paris and Bamako deteriorated against the backdrop of Mali's cooperation with the Russian side. In September 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the Malian authorities had turned to one of the Russian private military companies (PMCs) for help in the fight against terrorism. Lavrov stressed that the Russian government had nothing to do with the situation. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov also reported that there were no representatives of the Russian armed forces in Mali.

Read on RBC Pro Pro $2,000 for a layoff: how Zappos built the most unusual strategy developing countries on the “debt needle” Articles Pro x The Economist The Fed made a historical mistake. Will this lead to a global recession Articles Pro Taxi king or search engine: what is the future of Yandex?Shortly thereafter, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced his intention to impose sanctions against Wagner PMCs. On December 13, the European Union adopted restrictions against PMCs and persons associated with it. A few days later, the Canadian authorities, as well as France, Germany, the UK and 11 other EU countries, released a statement that Wagner PMC mercenaries were deployed in Mali. Bamako denies this and insists that only Russian instructors are in the country, whose task & mdash; strengthening the capabilities of the national defense forces.

In Russia, mercenarism is prohibited by law. According to Art. 359 of the Criminal Code, participation in armed conflicts on the territory of another country faces up to seven years in prison, and for recruiting, training, financing a mercenary, “as well as his use in an armed conflict or hostilities” & mdash; up to 15 years old. Mercenaries include persons acting in order to obtain material rewards and who are not citizens of a state participating in an armed conflict or hostilities, who do not permanently reside on its territory, and who are not persons sent to perform official duties.

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Nice-Matin announced the arrest of the villas of Russian businessmen in France

France, under EU sanctions, arrested three villas associated with Russian businessmen. Since the end of February, the country's authorities have blocked €178 million in banks, arrested four yachts and six helicopters

Oleg Deripaska

As part of the implementation of the sanctions imposed against Russia, the French authorities arrested three mansions in the south of the country, allegedly belonging to Russian businessmen, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported.

According to the publication, the list of real estate confiscated by the Ministry of Finance included a villa near the Saint-Tropez resort on the Cote d'Azur. According to Nice-Matin, Oleg Deripaska bought it in 2005.

Another confiscated villa in the vicinity of Biarritz, according to the publication, belongs to the shareholder of “Sibur” Kirill Shamalov. The sanctions list also included a villa near the commune of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the Riviera, which looks like a smaller copy of the Palace of Versailles. According to Nice-Matin, it is owned by the chairman of the board of directors of Russian Platinum; Musa Bazhaev.

RBC sent a request to a representative of Deripaska and Shamalov. A representative of Musa Bazhaev declined to comment.

In total, since the end of February, France has blocked €178 million in bank accounts associated with Russians, arrested four yachts, six helicopters worth more than €60 million, three works of art for €7 million, Le Figaro reported with reference to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Since the end of February, the European Union has repeatedly tightened sanctions against Russia. Large Russian businessmen, including Deripaska, Shamalov and Bazhaev, fell under the restrictions. The sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans.

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Deputy head of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev compared the sanctions against entrepreneurs to the Inquisition and warned that Western authorities would face a large number of lawsuits because of their striving to abolish the right of ownership for Russian business.

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Macron’s victory overshadowed by “yellow vests”: France is torn apart by contradictions

Unpopular reforms complicate the new term of the head of state

Emmanuel Macron's victory in the French presidential election has become as expected as the protests over the outcome of the second round of voting. But the scale of the anti-presidential demonstrations, judging by the reaction of both the police and ordinary citizens, turned out to be much larger than predicted. The end of the presidential campaign may mark a new rise of the “yellow vests”, which have long been preparing to return to the socio-political field.

And France's economic problems, coupled with Macron's inflexibility on a number of fundamental issues, only exacerbate the situation.

“Down with Macron, the Robin of the Rich” is one of the slogans of the protesters, based on the nickname of the president in the leftist press; Robin des Bourges is consonant with Robin des Bois (Robin Hood in French). Photo: AP

Protest: From the web to the streets

After receiving more than 58% of the vote in the second round, the incumbent French leader went on a new term – this situation has developed for the first time since 2002, when Jacques Chirac was re-elected president.

However, as in Chirac's case, re-election is not at all an indicator of the population's stable sympathy for the head of state.

Macron's rival Marine Le Pen managed to significantly narrow the gap compared to the 2017 campaign (then the difference was 32.2%, now only 17.08%), and almost a third of the French simply ignored the second round (the turnout barely exceeded 71%), not finding among the two candidates who would meet their aspirations.

The situation is eloquently characterized by the results of an online survey conducted almost immediately after the closing of polling stations in France. According to a survey of more than 1,300 people (considered a fairly representative sample in sociology), at least 63% of the country's citizens would not like to see the Republic on the March, the Macron party, whose majority previously provided him with almost unhindered decision-making, the leading force in parliament. Thus, the parliamentary elections scheduled for June will definitely not be easy for the president and his supporters.

But even more clearly than the statistics, the riots that broke out on April 24 and continued here and there all night testify to Macron's dissatisfaction. The French police, preparing for the protests, according to law enforcement officials, did not expect such a “scale”.

Protesters with banners took to the streets not only in Paris, but also in Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, Toulouse and a dozen smaller towns. Naturally, the largest protests took place in the capital, where the number of demonstrators, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is in the thousands.

The leitmotif of all the actions is the slogan “Neither Macron nor Le Pen” written on many posters, shouting which the participants in the demonstrations quickly transferred the conditionally peaceful marches to the “hot stage”. The most zealous protesters set fire to trash cans and provoked police clashes by throwing stones and shouting insults. Initially, the number of law enforcement officers was increased in order to passively contain the actions, that is, simply to prevent the “spraying” of processions throughout the city. However, in the end, the police moved from a kind of protection of demonstrations to actually suppressing them: batons and tear gas were used; several dozen people were detained, although, according to official figures, most of them are already at large.

Rising gasoline fuels dissatisfied people

So far, the confrontation at the end of 2018, when actions of the so-called “yellow vests” (distinctive clothing) swept through France, did not come to pass. Then, in addition to gas and batons, the police used water cannons, and detentions numbered in the hundreds. Over time, those protests subsided, although their subsequent “relapses” were observed at the slightest convenient occasion, be it anti-COVID restrictions or another unpopular initiative by the authorities.

Now, few doubt that a full-fledged “return of vests” is just around the corner. If earlier their actions were provoked for the most part by the price policy for fuel, now this problem has changed from a narrow-profile one (affecting truckers and taxi drivers) to a general one, and, as a result, there have been more complaints.

Gasoline and diesel in France are rapidly, albeit not at the American or British pace, becoming more expensive, and even despite the popularity of electric cars in the country (and it is among the top five European leaders in terms of the number of electric cars or hybrids), this significantly hits the wallets of ordinary citizens.

In the end, the delivery of products from suppliers to the store still remains tied to the usual auto message, and the fuel surcharge increases the final cost of goods on the shelf. All this is exacerbated by Macron's adamant position on imposing an embargo on energy supplies from Russia (Paris is less accommodating in this matter than, for example, Berlin) – such a ban will further accelerate fuel prices.

As a resident told MK Paris Annette Moreau, for a liter of gasoline in the French capital now you sometimes have to pay up to 3 euros (more than 300 rubles), which is almost twice as much as even relatively recent, January prices.

“Now it is difficult to determine who are “vests” and who are not,” our interlocutor commented on the protests that took place on the night of the 25th and their prospects. – Everyone is dissatisfied with the fact that there was no choice, we saw the same candidates as five years ago, knowing what they are capable of. As long as prices for fuel, taxis, food rise, the protests will not stop. There are many groups on social networks dedicated to the smallest Parisian districts, it describes when and where to gather, this will all continue in May, and I think the police will not be able to interfere, but only anger. Moreover, people from other cities often come to Paris in their own transport, and now these (convoys) are being prepared.”

Vests on the march

Indeed, the threat to the French capital is not so much the protest potential of Paris as the mobility of demonstrators from other cities. Even in support of overseas protests—Canadian “freedom convoys”—French truckers and farm equipment farmers flocked to Paris by the dozens. Now we are talking about the fate of our own country, and the protesters are already often called “Vests on the March” on the Web, ironically over the name of the Macron party and hinting that the “vest” is the Republic.

Economic difficulties go hand in hand with a number of dubious social initiatives of Macron, in particular, about raising the retirement age to 65 years. Despite the fact that concessions on this issue (and all presidential candidates tried to play on it) could reduce tensions, the president remains surprisingly adamant, arguing his position with economic expediency.

The only thing that calms the opponents of pension reform is that this process should be fully completed by 2031. That is, the final stage will obviously not be for the Macron term – the President of France cannot be re-elected twice in a row.

Of course, Macron is trying to the best of his ability and “cajole” the electorate. So, speaking about problems with fuel, he promised to subsidize the prices of gasoline and diesel – a certain percentage of the cost at gas stations will be paid by the state. The Spanish authorities have already begun to use a similar experience against the backdrop of protests there, but the subsidy program is still in force only until June: after that, there will simply be no money left in the budget for compensation. The French leader also promised that he would not promote unpopular reforms exclusively by presidential decrees, but would do his best to seek the consent of the parliament – that is, there is no question of a fundamental easing of policy.

In this context, the struggle of the “vests” is already beyond purely economic framework, acquiring a specific political connotation. According to its representatives, the movement benefited from what was previously considered a disadvantage – its decentralization, and therefore the ability to absorb any protest forces.

“Vests” are already used as a household name for all protesters against Macron,” said Annette Moreau. She is echoed by a participant in the demonstrations in Toulouse, René Crepe. “We take to the streets for a decent life, not for fuel,” he told one of the French TV channels.


Exit polls gave victory to Macron: the hidden results of the presidential elections in France

The fight for the electorate will continue in May

The second round of the next presidential election is coming to an end in France. While the official results of the voting have not been summed up, exit polls (polls of voters at the exits from polling stations) predictably indicate a likely victory for Emmanuel Macron. According to an expert interviewed by MK, if the current head of state retains his post, he will have to continue a difficult struggle for voters – already in the parliamentary field. Its outcome will determine the details of the future Macron's course, which, however, is unlikely to undergo fundamental changes both within France and on the world stage.

In itself, the second round of presidential elections was not a surprise – in the history of the Fifth Republic there were no campaigns limited to one stage of voting. It is curious that this is only the second case when the former opponents again met in the final battle.

As in 2017, this year Macron was competed with the leader of the National Association (until 2018 known as the name “National Front”) Marine Le Pen. Despite optimistic preliminary opinion polls for her and a backlog of only 4.7% in the first round (it took place on April 10), analysts agreed that she would suffer the same fate.

The second round for the Le Pen family in general is of particular importance. The founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, successfully overcame the first stage of voting twenty years ago, speaking out against Jacques Chirac, around whom there were many corruption scandals. However, the protest vote in the second round, which was held according to the principle “better for a thief than for a nationalist” (even those candidates who had dropped out of the race who did not sympathize with him called to support Chirac), led to the fact that in 2002 the leader of the “NF” all same lost. It is not surprising that his daughters predicted a similar fate five years ago, and she really then repeated her father's experience. Judging by the April 24 exit polls, the situation is the same now.

If the final ballot counts (and the official election results will be released on April 25) give Macron the lead, this will also be a unique case: in 20 years after the mentioned campaign 2002, no French president has yet been re-elected.

In the event of a Macron victory, the head of state will obviously stick to his former course, Yury Rubinsky, head of the Center for French Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said in a conversation with MK.

“In general, of course, Macron will continue to pursue the foreign and domestic policy that we observed in his first presidential term. At the same time, some new factors will come into play. First, what matters is what the final gap between Macron and Le Pen will be. In the last elections, it was almost two-time, now, obviously, the difference will be less. This is not surprising: Macron was in power and bore all the costs associated with this, while Le Pen criticized his decisions.

Secondly, in addition to the gap in percentages, an equally significant role is played by what is called the informal “third round” – the parliamentary elections in France scheduled for June 12 and 19 (the first and second rounds, respectively). “Although for the Fifth Republic the president is a central figure in political life, he is still forced to rely on the main forces in the parliament, which essentially has to form a government, when making decisions,” Yury Rubinsky emphasized in this regard. “For the past five years, Macron has had independent and absolute parliamentary majority of his party “Republic on the March” (another option – “Forward, Republic!”. – “MK”), not all of his predecessors can boast of this. Accordingly, the government actually had the composition that the president appointed. Now those prospects are in question. Most likely, those who were defeated in the first round of the presidential elections will actively participate in the parliamentary campaign.”

We are talking, in particular, about Invictus France, an ultra-left and populist party led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon .

“He lagged behind Marine Le Pen in the first round by only a couple of percent, having collected a solid package of votes,” the expert recalled. “Because a significant part of the protest electorate followed him, dissatisfied with both the incumbent president and the entire existing system, but who did not want to follow the far-right National Association.” Mélenchon bluntly stated that it was about deciding the fate of the country, and he himself claims to be prime minister. These ambitions are justified. It is his voters who will largely decide what kind of political landscape will emerge as a result of the parliamentary elections. And the “corridor” for making decisions by the president depends on this.

Macron himself is known for acting on the “at the same time” principle, that is, trying to combine difficult-to-combine solutions, and this problem will confront him in the coming month, Yury Rubinsky is sure:

“Having won in the second round, the president will try immediately after it – precisely in preparation for the parliamentary elections – to avoid steps that could split the voters. At the same time, he will obviously actively “look after” the left wing. According to Macron, he himself is both left and right, but we have seen that his policies so far have been more in the interests of the right-wing elite electorate. Now it is necessary to win the sympathy of the protest voters of Mélenchon on the left, to reduce the irritating factors. In particular, we are talking about Macron's planned increase in the retirement age to 65 years (now 62). Le Pen promised to lower the retirement threshold to 60 years – of course, this is an obvious populist gesture. Melenchon suggested looking for a middle option, which, apparently, Macron now has to find.

As far as foreign policy is concerned, time also plays a role in this case. France until June of this year is the country-chairman of the Council of the EU (the legislative body of the European Union, not to be confused with the European Council, which is the highest political body of the association. – “MK”). This status of a state does not give it the right to make its own unilateral decisions, but allows it to adjust the pan-European agenda.

“Macron’s goal in the EU is to broadly deepen interaction within the association and secure sovereign status for the European Union. In this direction, of course, he will be active, especially considering that he already has to deal with the new German government. It is a coalition, there is no unity there, including on such sensitive issues for Russia as the crisis in Ukraine. The tandem with Germany was repeatedly criticized by Le Pen, whose like-minded person in the alliance can be called the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Macron, on the other hand, will continue to bet on the consolidation and strengthening of the role of the EU in the world,” the expert concluded.


France will give Ukraine self-propelled artillery mounts “Caesar”: stuck on the roads

French artillery needs greenhouse conditions

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on April 22 that 155-mm Caesars would be sent to Ukraine as military aid. Alexey Leonkov, a military expert and editor of Arsenal of the Fatherland magazine, spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of the French howitzer.

Photo: en.wikipedia .orgSelvejp

According to him, “Caesar” has a long range – up to 42 kilometers. In addition, this self-propelled gun does not require constant repair, which is very convenient when there is a shortage of foreign spare parts.

“The main disadvantages of the Caesar are poor off-road patency, lack of protection against enemy shells and a small ammunition load – only 18 shells” , – said Leonkov.

The expert noted that in Ukraine there is an analogue of this self-propelled gun called “Bogdan”, but in single quantities.

The first sample of the “Caesar” was presented in 1994 , and since 2000, its testing began. The French howitzer is flown by a crew of five, but in a pinch it can be flown by a trained crew of three trained troops. The barrel length of the Caesar is 52 calibers.

It also became known that the United States decided to transfer to Ukraine about 70 heavy 155-mm British howitzers M777 and 140,000 shells for them. NATO countries hope that a permanent military supply to Ukraine will increase the duration of the special military operation and weaken Russia. However, recent tests of the Russian Sarmat missile showed that the Russian army has enough forces to continue the special operation.


Macron says France does not need gas from Russia

According to Macron, his country does not need Russian gas, but the EU is dependent on it. Previously, the president said he could appoint an energy planning minister responsible for France's gas and oil withdrawal

Emmanuel Macron

Europe depends on gas from Russia, but France does not need it, said on the France TV channel 5 French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We are working hard to buy it elsewhere. <…> France doesn't need him, — said Macron (quote from Le Parisien).

According to Macron, it is necessary to “do everything” to force Russia to stop the military operation in Ukraine, including imposing an embargo on Russian oil.

Over the weekend, the French president announced that he was considering appointing an energy planning minister who would be responsible for reducing the country's dependence on gas, oil and coal.

The European Union has introduced five packages of sanctions against Russia in connection with the military operation in Ukraine. The latter was approved in early April and, among other things, prohibits the purchase, import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia. It will begin to operate in August, until that time the parties can execute contracts concluded before April 9. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the work on the sixth package, in which Brussels considers issues related to the energy sector. The inevitability of these measures was said by the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, according to whom, restrictions on oil and gas from Russia “sooner or later will be required.”

On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on payments in rubles for natural gas supplies to countries that the authorities consider “unfriendly” (The list includes all EU countries). According to the document, companies from Western countries must open accounts in Russian banks. The new sales rules came into effect on April 1. The G7 countries and the European Union announced that they would not pay for gas in rubles. At the same time, the French Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, said on April 1 that the possibility of paying for gas in euros remained. Countries that buy gas from Russia make payments in euros through a bank, which will then convert the currency into rubles.

In early April, Lithuania announced that it was the first in the European Union to completely abandon Russian gas. According to the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borel, all European countries can achieve this within two years. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will be able to increase the consumption of oil, gas and coal within the country, increase their processing, and also find alternative foreign markets.

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The NYT learned that the EU linked the ban on oil from Russia to the elections in France

EU member states are discussing a phased embargo on Russian oil, but concrete proposals will be made only after the presidential elections in France are over

The EU plans to introduce a phased embargo on Russian oil, but negotiations this will not begin until the end of the presidential election in France, writes The New York Times, citing sources. The second round of the French elections will take place on April 24.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, the leaders of the countries —members of the EU want to be sure that the increase in fuel prices in France (in the event of an earlier embargo) will not play into the hands of the candidate Marine Le Pen to the presidency and will not prevent current President Emmanuel Macron from being re-elected. Both candidates made it to the second round of elections.

The embargo is supposed to be introduced according to the same scheme as for Russian coal. Earlier, the EU introduced the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, which included, among other things, a ban on the purchase, import or transit of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia. It will take effect in August, until that time the parties can execute contracts concluded before April 9.

Oil is also being phased out, allowing Germany, which is more dependent on Russian fuel than any other European country, to adapt to the new conditions. The schedule for phasing out Russian oil will be divided into types of oil products and delivery methods, writes NYT. In addition, a faster embargo on oil delivered by tankers (compared to pipeline oil) is being discussed.

Now it is being discussed that the transit period will be at least one month, the newspaper adds.

According to her, EU members are gradually coming to the conclusion that a ban on the import of Russian oil should be introduced even in the absence of any “trigger”.

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The European Commission is now working on the details of upcoming measures, but does not put them on paper, fearing information leakage, the newspaper writes. Its representatives will hold meetings with European diplomats during the Easter holidays, his sources specified.

Earlier Thursday, President Vladimir Putin instructed to speed up work on creating infrastructure in Russia to redirect oil and gas exports from the West to other markets. He clarified that we are talking about railway, pipeline, port projects. “Including, it is necessary to provide for the construction of new oil and gas pipelines from the fields of Western and Eastern Siberia,” — the president added.

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France predicts the results of the second round of the presidential election

Poll shows Macron likely to win

Incumbent French President Emmanuel Macron could win the second round of the presidential election with 53.5 percent of the vote. The victory of the head of the Fifth Republic is predicted according to the results of a sociological survey by Elabe.

Photo: Global Look Press Marine Le Pen's right-wing National Rally party, according to the poll, could get 46.5 percent.

63 percent of those polled said they would definitely go to the polls on Sunday, April 24th. 10 percent of respondents noted that they were “serious about going to vote”, 27 percent of survey participants admitted that they could miss the vote.

According to the results of the first round of the presidential elections, which took place on April 10, Macron scored 27 .84 percent of the vote, Le Pen – 23.15 percent.

Third place went to the candidate of the left Jean-Luc Mélenchon – he enlisted the support of 21.95 percent of voters.

Le Pen time has stated that if she is elected president, she will withdraw France from the unified command of the NATO alliance.


Le Pen closed the gap on Macron in the second round: France froze

Race against time: will the Fifth Republic get a new president

Ahead of the second round of the French presidential election, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen is closing the gap with Emmanuel Macron, according to the latest poll. Meanwhile, former President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke out in support of the current head of the Republic, praising him for his “commitment to Europe.”

Photo: AP

A new opinion poll has shown far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is closing the gap with Emmanuel Macron ahead of the second round of the presidential election.

According to the Daily Mail, the OpinionWay-Kea Partners poll published by Les Echos and Radio Classique on Tuesday showed Le Pen narrowed the gap by one point as voter turnout continued to fall, although if the poll is to be believed, Macron still wins the runoff with 54 percent of the vote.

Voter turnout estimates fell even further – by 1 percent to 70 percent – from 74.56 percent in 2017, already the lowest since 1969.

On Tuesday, former Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy said he would vote for centrist Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the presidential election against Marine Le Pen on April 24.

Sarkozy praised Macron's “commitment” to Europe as “clear and unequivocal”.

“I will vote for Emmanuel Macron because I think he has the necessary experience in the face of a serious international crisis. His economic project puts the value of work as a top priority, and his commitment to Europe is clear and unequivocal,” Sarkozy said ahead of the second round of voting.

our governance culture should lead us to respond to Emmanuel Macron's call for unity,” he said.

Marine Le Pen, 53, won a second round against the incumbent in the French election after receiving 23.15% of the vote in the first round on Sunday, just four points behind Macron.


The two finalists will now go head-to-head on April 24, with polls predicting a much tougher showdown than their 2017 battle, with National Rally leader Le Pen predicted to win 49 percent of the vote in the runoff in margin of error for victory.

Sarkozy's comments come just days after the candidate of his own conservative party, which he publicly refused to support, lost in the first round of the election. Valerie Pekress won just 4.8% of the vote on Sunday. This puts the Republicans in dire financial straits, as the party failed to reach the five percent threshold above which campaign expenses are reimbursed by the state. On Monday, Pecresse called for urgent donations to ensure her party's survival.

While many of the first-round losing candidates urged their supporters not to support Le Pen in the second round, including far-left leader Jean -Luc Mélenchon, her populist message centered on the cost of living crisis resonates across the political spectrum, writes the Daily Mail.

Sophie Pedder, The Economist's Paris bureau chief, told BBC Today: “She's very popular with voters, workers, underpaid employees, service workers, people who struggle with paying their bills at the end of the month, who have real difficulties with the price of gasoline for their cars. Many of them live in rural areas or areas where they need cars to get to work. This emphasis she places on the cost of living fits in very well with Mélenchon's supporters on the radical left.”

Throughout the campaign, Le Pen visited markets in towns and villages to meet with working-class voters, where anti-yellow vest protests flared up, promoting the idea that Macron had divided France and she was the one to unite it.< /p>

Le Pen claims that he is no longer the “big, bad wolf” of politics and positions himself as a unifying and kind figure.

An Ifop poll in March found that less than half of French people thought she was “intimidating.” Meanwhile, analysis of the polls by The Telegraph showed that 53% of voters intend to vote for Macron, and 47% for Le Pen.

In her Sunday speech, Le Pen portrayed herself as a unifying figure who will heal the “rifts » France and stop the 'chaos' caused by Macron, a former banker who, she said, personified the 'power of money'.

One Le Pen supporter says: “She did a great campaign, she was good all the time, she was close to the people. She was not shown on TV too much, she was more with us on the field, in the cities. She did everything right. The difference is that in 2017 people voted for Macron because he was new and we didn't know him, so we thought, “Well, let's try.” We tried it, and it turned out terrible.”

Last week, sociologist Brice Teinturier of Ipsos found that more people expect their position and position in the country to improve if Marine Le Pen is elected instead of Macron.

Macron kicks off his campaign for a runoff by visiting former mining areas in the industrial centers of Les Pens in northern France, in a first sign that workers will be the main battlefield in the election.

As the 12 candidates in the first round dwindle to two, now presidential finalists should aim to appeal to about 50 percent of voters who had other preferences in the first round.

In past elections at the national, regional and municipal levels, voters of the left and right have historically banded together to keep the far right out of power, a phenomenon known as the “republican front”.

Although all major candidates, including the conservative Republicans and the Socialist Party supported Macron in the second round on Sunday evening, it is unclear whether their voters will follow him. What's more, their low single digit scores were so pathetic that their support doesn't matter much. Analysts say the left's vote is likely to be split, with Macron going to have a third, Le Pen to a third and abstention to a third.

The face-to-face meeting in the second round between Le Pen and Macron is a repeat of the 2017 presidential election, when the results of the first round were 24.01% for Macron and 21.03% for Le Pen. Macron then beat Le Pen with 66% of the vote in the second round.

But experts say this election will be very different: voters are disillusioned after five years of the centrist president's globalist and pro-European policies, and Le Pen seeks to unite voters with his anti-Macronian message.

Bruno Gollnisch, a former National Front MP, said: “I think the circumstances are very different from five years ago because many people are disappointed with Mr Macron's policies. Whether on the right or on the left, the real discussion will now be between globalism on the one hand and the difference of national identity on the other.”

Marin became leader of the Front National in 2011 after her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, and since then she has been trying to improve the image of the party, which its critics accuse of racism and Holocaust denial. The National Front has since been renamed the National Rally, and in 2015 Marin expelled her father from the party he co-founded in the 1970s for repeating his view that the Holocaust was a mere a “detail” of World War II.

But in a rare show of support, Jean-Marie Le Pen congratulated his daughter Sunday night on a “remarkable campaign” and predicted her election victory.

On In this election, Marine Le Pen's campaign was quiet, professional, without major gaffes, and she looked more suited to the presidency than her far-right rival, the controversial commentator Eric Zemmour, who received seven percent of the vote.

French newspaper Le Monde described the second round of elections on April 24 as a struggle between “France of leaders and pensioners against France of employees and workers, cities against the periphery, European integration against national sovereignty.”


Macron said that Putin respects and singles out France among Western countries

Macron: Putin singles out France among other Western countries, relations need to be rethought European countries should rethink relations with Russia and Turkey in order to “bring” them closer to themselves, Macron believes. According to him, Putin distinguishes France from other Western countries, but dialogue with him is always frank

Dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin is always demanding and frank, he revived the dream of empire, said French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Le Point.< /p>

“I think that Putin respects France and distinguishes it from other Western countries,” — Macron emphasized (quote from TASS).

The President of France called one of the European “treasures” renunciation of hegemony. In his opinion, the Russian president violated the principle of territorial integrity, which has been a dogma since 1945— end of World War II. This principle, Macron emphasized, was enshrined in the Charter of Paris in 1990, the only exception to this “dogma” were the events in Yugoslavia.

“What is happening in Ukraine” this is a huge factor for the destabilization of the Western Balkans,— considers the French president.

According to Macron, the Russian president decided to launch a military special operation in Ukraine because of a feeling of anti-Western ressentiment and a lack of contact with other people due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Bloomberg. Russian forces will continue to operate in Ukraine to achieve results by the May 9 Victory Day, the French President believes. He promised that he would continue contacts with Putin.

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The world, according to the President of France, is in a period of global transformation, having become multipolar instead of bipolar. He pointed out that Beijing demonstrates a lack of readiness to put pressure on Moscow, a large number of African states have adopted a policy of “non-alignment”, and a neutral position dominates among the Persian Gulf countries due to skepticism towards Washington, but Europe has shown unity on the issue of what is happening in Ukraine .

Macron expressed confidence that European countries should rethink their relations with both Moscow and Ankara, believing that otherwise Europe “will not be able to live in peace.” Changing attitudes, he noted, would also “bring closer” Russia and Turkey to Europe.

«The West has sometimes been involved in conflicts that <…> consisted in imposing values ​​on peoples against their will, in replacing leaders who did not accept these values, — said the French president.

The material is being supplemented.

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Results of the first round of presidential elections in France. infographics

Following the processing of 100% of the votes, Emmanuel Macron scored 27.84%, and his main rival Marine Le Pen – 23.15%. Both will participate in the second round of elections, which will be held on April 24

The turnout in the first round of the presidential elections in France was 73.69%— this is the lowest figure since 2002 (then 72% of voters came to the vote). In 2017, when current head of state Emmanuel Macron was elected for his first term, the turnout was 76.8%.

Almost all candidates said that in the second tour support Macron. The exception was Eric Zemmour, who called for voting for Le Pen.

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France declares six more Russian diplomats persona non grata

Paris declared six Russian diplomats persona non grata, the secret services found out that they acted against the national interests of France. This is stated on the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“After a very lengthy investigation, the General Directorate of Internal Security (DGSI) revealed on Sunday, April 10, a covert operation carried out by Russian special services on our territory,”— the ministry said in a statement.

“But they don’t announce everyone at once in the hope that we will change our position? We won't change, — said the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova. She also appealed to the French department, stating that if Paris linked the implementation of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine, this would lead to peace and stability in Europe.

The material is being supplemented.


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Between Macron and Le Pen: elections in France called “poor quality”

Polls Predict Historically Low French Presidential Turnout

On Sunday, April 10, French people vote in the presidential election. Voting turnout may be historically low, according to opinion polls.

Photo: ruwikipedia

ahead of the French presidential election polls, 80% of those polled felt that the campaign was of “poor quality”, many complained about the lack of ideas or new vision, writes The Guardian.

According to pollsters and analysts, most French people believe that the 2022 presidential election campaign was of poor quality and never got off the ground, which could lead to a protest vote and a historically low turnout in the first round on Sunday.

An Ifop poll this month found that 80% of French people thought the campaign was “low quality.” Voters have complained about the lack of new political ideas or vision and few solutions to their problems after two years of the Covid pandemic, as well as the conflict in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis.

Emmanuel Macron is campaigning to become France's first re-elected president in 20 years, promising to continue cutting taxes, raising the retirement age to 65 and securing full employment in France after decades of mass unemployment. But he entered the race late, focusing instead on trying to resolve the crisis diplomatically between Russia and Ukraine, and his lead in opinion polls has slipped slightly in recent days, while far-right candidate Marine Le Pen closed the gap on Macron to second place.

Le Pen has focused on the cost of living crisis, and her anti-immigration agenda includes a ban on the Muslim hijab in all public places. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also gaining momentum in the polls, promising to freeze prices and overhaul the presidential system.

Despite the main fears of French voters – the cost of living crisis, the armed conflict in Ukraine and the environment – public interest in this campaign turned out to be less than in the last presidential election, held five years ago. There were fewer rallies, and voters complained about the lack of direct televised debates between all candidates.

As the first round campaign approached its final week, 54% of French people said they thought it hadn't started yet. An unprecedented number of French voters say they are unsure who to vote for, and abstentions could reach a record high of 30% on Sunday, polls showed.

Incumbent President Macron tried to mobilize his voters, comparing the political mood to what it was in the UK before the Brexit vote in 2016.

“There is no certainty,” Macron warned at his only rally in Nanterre outside Paris, brushing aside his lead in the polls. “Don’t believe the polls or the commentators who sound unequivocal and tell you that … the elections have already taken place, that everything will be fine”

Later, Macron told a radio interviewer that, in his opinion, society was “tired of two years of Covid “and” stunned “by the events in Ukraine. He claimed that the campaign did discuss “real topics”, but acknowledged that there was “a collective question about whether voting makes sense”. At the same time, Macron argued that voting is crucial.

Opinion pollsters say the fact that this election has been seen as a foregone conclusion for months – that Macron will easily win – could affect turnout and choice, and make voters feel like they want to prove the predictions wrong. A total of 66% of French people now believe Macron will win, a figure that has declined in recent weeks due to rising support for Marine Le Pen.

The feeling of weariness and predestination brings to mind comparisons with the “earthquake” in the 2002 elections 20 years ago, when Le Pen's father, far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, knocked out the left to reach the final against Jacques Chirac.

“Like today, in 2002 there was a constant feeling that the campaign was not working, which in turn created the temptation to hold a protest vote,” says François Miquet-Marty, head of polling at Viavoice. “Our poll shows that 75% of French people think there are no new ideas in this campaign. And at the same time, 76% of people are worried about the future of their children. There is a sense that the solutions offered by this campaign are not enough.”

French media and analysts have described the campaign as a lulling of voters in a country already plagued by crisis. Communist candidate Fabien Roussel said this week that the campaign is “as if on morphine.” Jean Lassalle, an MP from the country's southwest dealing with rural issues, didn't pick a word in February and said in a TV interview: “This campaign is crap,” and the clip has since gone viral among French people who apparently share this opinion.

As The Guardian recalls, the campaign actually began last fall amid a micron wave of Covid infections. Then the unexpected rise of far-right television pundit Eric Zemmour initially pushed the issue of national identity to the top of the agenda. But the conflict in Ukraine ended up dominating the media headlines. Macron has delayed the start of his campaign, initially capitalizing on a kind of “rallying around the flag.” Currently, Macron's approval ratings have declined, although he holds the lead, while Le Pen and Mélenchon's ratings have risen, and Zemmour has fallen again in the polls.

The presidential election has started in France: shots of charming candidates

See related photo gallery


Named the main problem of Macron in Sunday’s presidential elections in France

Missing voter turnout threatens unpredictable results

It's only a matter of time before the first round of the French presidential election. According to the polls among the candidates, the current head of state Emmanuel Macron is in the lead, but the voter turnout remains a big question – and this factor introduces an element of unpredictability.

Photo: Global Look Press

Emmanuel Macron is the clear favorite in the French presidential race, according to the Associated Press. but a big unknown factor may be the deciding factor: An unprecedented proportion of voters say they are unsure who to vote for or don't intend to vote at all, which adds a lot of uncertainty to this election.

Although Macron is still a solid leader in the polls, his archrival, leader of the far-right National Rally Marine Le Pen, in recent days, is gaining momentum. Both politicians can look forward to reaching the second round of the presidential elections on April 24, which will force them to reproduce the scenario of the 2017 elections, which Macron won.

“No certainty, — warned Macron supporters during his first big campaign rally late last week outside Paris. — Don't trust polls or commentators who will sound categorical and tell you that… the elections have already taken place, that everything will be fine»

This year's runoff scenarios show that Le Pen has significantly narrowed the gap with Macron compared to 2017, when she lost with 34% of the votes supporting his 66% votes.

The polls still rank her behind Macron, but the gap between them is much narrower, clearly demonstrating the effectiveness of Le Pen's longstanding strategy of softening her rhetoric and image.

In recent days, Macron's campaign has also run into a roadblock dubbed the “McKinsey Affair”; named after an American consulting company hired to advise the French government on its COVID-19 vaccination campaign and other matters. A new French Senate report questions the government's use of private consultants and accuses McKinsey of tax evasion.

Many in the Macron camp fear that his supporters may not go to the polls because they already think that the current head of the Republic will win, and those who are outraged by his policies will definitely vote, says the Associated Press.

“Of course I have concerns,” — says Julien Descampes, a 28-year-old member of Macron's party, stressing that some people around him “don't know what to do.” “They are not completely convinced by Macron, but if they reject extremes, they should vote for him,” — he said.

Macron urged voters to mobilize against both the far right and the far left in France. “Don't boo them, fight their ideas,” — he said.

In third place among the candidates, according to the polls, is far-left politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who has increased his support but is still far behind Marine Le Pen. Another far-right candidate, Eric Zemmour, and Conservative candidate Valerie Pekress are among the other key contenders. Sunday's first round will select the two main candidates for the second round.

The presidential elections are the most attractive to French voters. However, turnout has declined from 84% in 2007 to about 78% in 2017, and research suggests that the rate of people choosing to abstain from voting may be higher than five years ago. In particular, young and working-class people are less confident than retirees and upper-class voters.

According to sociologists, low turnout could have a serious impact on the vote. They note that most people do not yet know who they will vote for — and whether they will vote at all.

The fall in the purchasing power of French families is one of the main concerns of voters amid rising food and energy prices, as well as social benefits, security, immigration and the environment. But many feel these issues have not been adequately addressed in this year's campaign, in part because the conflict in Ukraine overshadows all other issues, notes the Associated Press.

Kevin, a 26-year-old history and geography teacher in a public high school, working in a poor suburb north of Paris, deplored the lack of political debate during the campaign. Describing himself as “leftist”, he said he felt “very disappointed” current French political scene. Kevin said he was still hesitating. But in any case, he will not vote for either Macron or Le Pen.

Macron, who has recently devoted much of his time to diplomatic negotiations in an attempt to end the conflict in Ukraine, is keen to step up his short-lived campaign in the run-up to Sunday's vote, giving several interviews to the French media, and almost every day putting campaign events on his agenda. . “Friends, you understand: the time has come for mobilization. It's time to fight, — he told supporters.


Peskov saw the expulsion of diplomats by France as a “closed window” for relations

The press secretary of the Russian president said there is a “potential risk” of a severance of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Paris if the expulsions of diplomats continue

Embassy of the Russian Federation in France

France's decision to expel Russian diplomats « closes the window for relations between countries, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with LCI.

Answering a question about the possibility of breaking off diplomatic relations between Moscow and Paris, he noted that if the deportations continue, then “there is a potential risk that this will happen.”

“Expulsion of diplomats” this is a decision that closes the window for diplomacy, and its efforts are especially needed in such situations, — Peskov believes (TASS quotes his words).

On April 4, the French Foreign Ministry announced its decision

expel a large number of Russian diplomats, whose actions, in the opinion of Paris, are contrary to the interests of the country's security. The BFM TV channel announced plans to expel 30 diplomatic workers, and the AFP— 35. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, promised a “worthy response” Moscow to the actions of Paris.

The next day, the French Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Alexei Meshkov to notify him of his decision, BFM TV reported, citing sources. The Russian Embassy in France told RBC that the French side handed over to Meshkov a list of employees of Russian foreign agencies declared persona non grata. In response, he “expressed a strong protest against the unfriendly action of the French authorities.”

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In addition to France, countries such as Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy and others have decided to send dozens of Russian diplomats to Bronevik.



France announced the possibility of paying for Russian gas in euros

French Minister of Ecological Transition Pompili spoke about the possibility of paying for Russian gas in euros with further conversion into rubles, “in particular, by Gazprombank”

Companies will be able to continue paying for gas from Russia in euros through banks, who will convert them into rubles, in particular Gazprombank. This was stated by the French Minister of Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, BFM TV reports.

“From the moment companies pay in euros, contracts are respected, and therefore it makes little difference for our companies. Thus, at this stage, we do not have the risk of breaking these contracts if this solution is implemented, — she added.

Pompili said that she sees in this decision “first of all, a measure of support for the ruble”; and that this is not a retaliatory measure against European companies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing new rules for trading Russian pipeline gas with unfriendly countries in rubles.

He explained that such states would have to open ruble accounts in Russian banks in order to purchase Russian natural gas. According to the head of state, gas payments will be made from these accounts from April 1.

If consumers refuse to pay under such a scheme, then Russia will consider this a “default”; with all the ensuing consequences, Putin stressed.

According to the decree, Western companies must open accounts with Gazprombank (Gazprom is one of its shareholders). For payments for gas, the opening of ruble and foreign currency accounts is envisaged. Payment is made by transferring euros or dollars to a foreign currency account. After that, the bank sells this currency on the Moscow Exchange and credits the received rubles to the buyer's ruble account— from that moment on, payment is considered completed.

After Putin's announcement of new rules, gas prices in Europe exceeded $1,500 per 1,000 cubic meters. m.

In early March, against the backdrop of tougher Western sanctions, the government included all 27 EU countries, Ukraine, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and a number of other states in the list of unfriendly states.

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France to lift covid restrictions on visa applications in Russia

France allowed all Russians to apply for a visa Previously, certain categories of Russians could apply for a French visa, for example, children, spouses or parents of EU citizens, as well as students of French universities, pilots and sailors

France from 1 April lifts all restrictions on applying for Schengen visas, according to the website of the French embassy. Previously, a limited number of applicants could apply for a visa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“From April 1, 2022, you can apply for all types of visas without restrictions related to COVID-19 or categories,” According to the message.

As of March 29, only certain categories of applicants can apply for a French visa, such as spouses, children or parents of citizens of France, the EU and Switzerland, students of French universities, representatives of certain professions, such as pilots, sailors , as well as drivers engaged in international transportation. In addition, holders of multiple-entry visas that expired between 2020 and 2022 could apply.

From April 1, everyone, without exception, residents of Russia will be able to apply for a visa.

“Absolutely, from April 1, everyone else can apply for a visa (even those who did not previously have a French visa), including for tourism purposes. Vaccination is no longer required (for visa processing)»,— RIA Novosti reported at the French Visa Application Centre.

The French Embassy notes that obtaining a visa does not guarantee entry into the country, since restrictive measures against the coronavirus are still in place at the border.

According to data on the website of the French Ministry of Internal Affairs, Russia still not included in the “green” a list of countries whose citizens are allowed to enter the republic without restrictions. To visit the country by residents of states from the “orange” list (it includes Russia), a certificate of full vaccination with a drug approved by the EU or the World Health Organization, a visa, and a statement of the absence of symptoms of coronavirus are required.

Vaccination is considered completed 28 days after vaccination with Janssen single-component preparation and seven after the second dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca.

Unvaccinated foreigners must provide a valid reason for entry into France (for example, caring for a relative) and provide a negative test for coronavirus done no later than 72 hours before entering the country, follows from the data on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of France.

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France, Turkey and Greece are preparing an operation to evacuate Mariupol

French president wants to discuss 'exceptional humanitarian operation' with Putin

President Emmanuel Macron says France is going to lead an 'exceptional humanitarian operation' alongside Turkey and Greece to evacuate residents of a Ukrainian city Mariupol.


“We are going to launch a humanitarian operation together with Turkey and Greece to evacuate all those who want to leave Mariupol,” Macron told reporters after a two-day EU summit.

According to POLITICO, Macron provided few details about his plan, but said the operation would take place “the sooner the better” and would be carried out “in agreement” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian authorities. The French leader also said that he was in touch with the mayor of Mariupol.

The French President also said that he would discuss the Mariupol operation with Russian President Vladimir Putin “within 48-72 hours.”

“I hope that I can involve the maximum number of interested parties in this operation,” Macron said.

France plans to demand that Russia allow passage both for those residents who want to leave Mariupol and provide humanitarian assistance those who want to stay, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a French source.

More than 100,000 people remain stranded in Mariupol, says POLITICO.

“I have a special thought for the people of Mariupol, who are experiencing one of the greatest dramas,” French President Macron said. “Today, in this city of more than 400,000 people, only 150,000 are left who live in a dramatic situation.”

Macron had already discussed the “humanitarian action” in Mariupol with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels the day before.< /p>

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also confirmed on Friday that a humanitarian operation in the Ukrainian city, which has a large Greek community, is being discussed.

Earlier this week, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said he intended to accompany a humanitarian mission to Mariupol. “Today, in an official note sent to the Ukrainian side, I ask you to assist, and in another note to the Russian side, not to interfere with the sending of humanitarian aid to Mariupol. I intend to personally accompany this mission in agreement with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Mauer, with whom we are already in contact,” Dendias said.

It is worth noting that all three countries that could allegedly be involved in a “humanitarian operation”, are members of NATO. If Greece’s participation is explained by the presence of the Greek community in Mariupol, and Turkey’s participation is obviously due to geographical reasons (the possibility, for example, to organize the evacuation of the population by sea), then the activity of the French leader can be explained by the desire of Emmanuel Macron not only to help the residents of the Ukrainian city, but also the desire to increase its foreign policy authority in the light of the upcoming presidential elections in April.


France puts three nuclear-powered missile submarines into the sea at once

Expert: 'It's more of a political decision'

France has put three of its nuclear-powered missile submarines into the sea for the first time in thirty years, according to The Times. We asked the Chairman of the St. Petersburg Navy Submariners Club, Captain 1st Rank Igor Kurdin, to comment on the message.

Photo: en.

The French consider their submarine fleet to be the first in Europe. And, judging by the real situation, they are right in a certain sense. When I say in Europe, I don't include the Russian Federation.

France's nuclear submarines are based on the new Triomphant-class submarines. There are four of them in France. The first was commissioned in 1997, the last – in 2010.

It should be noted that in the UK there are also 4 such strategic boats. And the difference is that the French initially, when they built this class of ships, developed their own M51 ballistic missiles. Unlike the British, who use American Trident II class ballistic missiles.

The declared firing range of the French M51 is about 9 thousand kilometers. This is a very decent range, commensurate with both Trident II and our Mace.

— There are five such countries. These are Russia, the USA, China, England and France. But in France, strategic nuclear forces are concentrated on only four nuclear submarines.

– Since they have four submarines, they are all new, all in service, the usual practice of combat duty at sea is two boats at sea in the assigned combat patrol areas, and two are in inter-trip repairs. The fact that France has withdrawn three of the four submarines indicates that it has increased the level of combat readiness of its nuclear deterrence forces. And she did this in response to similar actions by Russia.

Each of the four submarines is armed with 16 ballistic missiles with multiple warheads. This is a very decent strategic arsenal.

– At the moment, this decision is rather political. Because keeping three out of four submarines is expensive, but not in terms of cost, but in terms of readiness to launch a missile strike. It is rather a short-term action, if you can call it that. Thus, France wanted to show its concern. And she did this in response to the order of our President Vladimir Putin to transfer the Russian deterrence forces – they also include strategic nuclear forces – to a special mode of combat duty.

That we, that the French, can shoot not only from – under water, but also directly from the pier, being in areas of permanent deployment. Therefore, French strategic cruisers pose a serious threat. I want to emphasize that their ballistic missiles, like ours, as well as American, British, Chinese, are armed only with nuclear warheads. Therefore, they are strategic nuclear forces. Any use of these missiles means the start of a nuclear war.


Food cards will be introduced in France, and in Germany they began to save water

Europe is going through an economic crisis.

Due to the difficult situation in the world, prices began to rise for food and housing and communal services in all states.

In France, they are going to help poor citizens with food cards, and in Germany, residents are urged to follow discounts.

On the radio station France bleu, the head of France, Emmanuel Macron, addressed the French and promised that he would help the poor.

To help needy citizens and the middle class cope with price increases, Macron promised to introduce food checks.< /p>

“What are we going to do in the short term? Almost what has been done in the field of energy resources”, – the President explained.

Macron is confident that the world food crisis exists and requires “coordinated action.” The French Foreign Minister urged to unite efforts to cope with problems in the supply of products.

According to RIA Novosti, at the same time in Germany, the Focus magazine compiled a memo for the Germans, explaining how to save money.

< p>In the country, large retail chains (Rewe, Aldi and Lidl) have sharply raised prices for sunflower oil (by 2 times), milk (by 5%), coffee, toilet paper, mineral water (by 10%).

Journalists advised citizens to drink tap water instead of bottled water, tap water can be filtered.

Germans were advised to pay attention to discounts, promotions, buy seasonal vegetables and fruits at low prices. Citizens are also advised to pay attention to goods from the retail chains themselves, and not to branded goods.

As Topnews wrote earlier, in Russia, the Federal Antimonopoly Service began to check the sharply risen in price of office paper.

The cost of a pack of 500 sheets have risen in price by 5-10 times. All because of the reagent that bleached the paper, it was delivered from Finland.


France blocked the assets of the Russians for €850 million

In France, the assets of Russian “oligarchs” were “immobilized” for €850 million, including two yachts of €150 million each

The Amore Vero yacht in the port of the Mediterranean resort of La Ciotat, France

French authorities since the beginning of March blocked the assets of the Russian “oligarchs” 850 million euros, which were in French jurisdiction, said the Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic, Bruno Le Maire, on the air of the Grand Jury program, RTL reports.

“It’s almost a billion euros, or rather— €850 million who were immobilized»— said Le Maire.

The minister clarified that this refers, in particular, to €150 million held in accounts in French banks, another €539m was the value of about 30 blocked properties and two yachts worth €150m. Le Maire stressed that these accounts and properties are not seized in the legal sense of the term, but their owners are not yet entitled to dispose of them, sell them or receive income from them.

In early March, Le Maire spoke about arrest in the port city of La Ciotat of the yacht Amore Vero, which belongs to a company whose main shareholder, according to Paris, — head of Rosneft Igor Sechin. “A yacht owned by a Russian oligarch has been arrested. Thanks to the French customs officers who ensure compliance with EU sanctions against those close to the Russian authorities,— noted the minister.

The ship arrived at the port on January 3 and was supposed to stay in the port until April 1 for repairs, the French Ministry of Finance said in a communiqué. At the time of the inspection, the ship was preparing to sail before the completion of the planned work, the ministry said, the yacht was arrested for trying to leave the territorial waters of the country in the context of the imposed restrictive measures.

At Rosneft told RBC that Sechin “does not know if he has any company that owns this facility.” Such messages are “stuffing”, the company continued.

and other adventures of Shurik»:

— Today's outfits: sand pit— two people.

— Me!

— Cement plant.

— Me!

— Loading coal.

— Me!

— Cleaning the stables…

— Announce the entire list, please!»— reported in the company.

The European Union imposed sanctions at the end of February. The sanctions list includes the head of Promsvyazbank Pyotr Fradkov, businessmen Gennady Timchenko, Mikhail Fridman, Alisher Usmanov and other businessmen, officials, media workers and the military.

US President Joe Biden has warned that Washington will join forces with European allies to “investigate the crimes of Russian oligarchs.” “[We intend to] take your yachts, your luxury accommodations, your private jets. We are going after your ill-gotten riches, — Biden said.

French authorities had arrested one Russian yacht and three vessels by March 4, Russian Ambassador Alexei Meshkov said. According to him, they are arrested almost “without any explanation.” “When the judiciary will make some decisions, no one can predict,” — diplomat added.

In the port of Hamburg, German authorities confiscated the yacht of Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov, the founder of USM Holdings, in early March, three sources told Forbes. According to the publication, we are talking about the 156-meter yacht Dilbar, its value is estimated at almost $600 million.

At the request of the Spanish Ministry of Transport, the Valerie superyacht was arrested in the port of Barcelona at the request of the Spanish Ministry of Transport, InfoLibre reported in mid-March, the ship was being tied up with the head of Rostec Sergei Chemezov. The yacht is valued at $140 million, according to the publication. According to a ministry order cited by InfoLibre, the yacht will be held until authorities are satisfied that it is “not owned, held or controlled by a person or entity” included to the EU sanctions list. In “Rostec” called the publication “a fake, a deliberate lie”; and an element of the “campaign to discredit” Russia.

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The ministers of Italy and France are shocked by the impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the economy of their countries

Russia's response to Western sanctions exceeded the worst fears of officials in the two countries.

The former head of the Ministry of Trade and Crafts of Italy, Paolo Savona, shared on social networks the fears that the trip around the country caused him.

On his Twitter account, he said that the consequences of the imposition of anti-Russian sanctions caused him contradictory feelings.

After visiting a gas station, he admitted that if he previously believed that restrictive measures were directed against Russia, now he believes that they are addressed inside the country.

Meanwhile, the head of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Robert Fico, on the contrary, calls for tougher measures against Russia, saying that it is necessary to abandon oil purchases in the future.

According to him, sanctions should be extremely tough.

“Required… think about blocking oil imports”, – he said.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire also expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the country.

On the air of the BFMTV channel, he said that due to pressure on Russia due to military special operation in Ukraine is capable of completely cutting off gas supplies from Moscow to Paris, and this will lead to an increase in fuel prices and, ultimately, food.

He said that he feels “uncertainty&#8221 ; due to the likely counter-sanctions of Russia and the behavior of the PRC against this background, which are now unknown to Western leaders.

Le Maire believes that it will be a mistake to answer as if the West knows exactly what he is talking about.

Recall that earlier Le Maire has already stated that France intends to continue the “total economic” the EU war against the Russian Federation and is planning new sanctions against Moscow, which will be discussed at a meeting of the heads of the European Union on March 10-11 in Versailles.

As Topnews wrote earlier, Russia topped the list against the anti-Russian sanctions imposed against it.



France and Norway to close airspace to aircraft from Russia

France will ban Russian airlines and aircraft from crossing its airspace from the evening of February 27 due to the military operation in Ukraine. The same decision was then made by Norway

France has closed airspace for Russian aircraft and airlines, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on Twitter.

“France will close airspace for all Russian planes and airlines from tonight. Europe responds with unity to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, — he wrote.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Hutfeldt also announced the closure of the airspace, NTB reports.

«We have consulted with our Scandinavian neighbors and will close airspace for Russian flights at the same time,— she said.

Ukraine, Great Britain, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Iceland and Poland have previously closed the airspace. The list also includes Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Belgium and Austria.

Rosaviatsia said it would respond to the restrictions. The agency has already closed the airspace and banned flights to Russia for Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia. Carriers from Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic can still operate flights with the permission of the Federal Air Transport Agency or the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The authorities of European countries impose sanctions against banks, companies and individuals and decide on a ban to cross airspace due to the fact that Russia is conducting a military operation in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin called its goal “the protection of people who are subjected to bullying, genocide by the Kiev regime.”

His Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine in real life is different from Ukraine in Russian news. “You are being told that we— Nazis, but how can people support Nazism, who gave more than 8 million lives for the victory over Nazism, — he noted. Zelensky said that Ukraine had filed a lawsuit against Russia with the International Court of Justice in The Hague.


AFP learned about the mobilization of 9.5 thousand soldiers in France due to the Russian operation

AFP: France will put more than 9.5 thousand troops on alert because of the fighting in Ukraine According to AFP, France will mobilize 9.5 thousand troops because of the military operation in Ukraine. More than 1.5 thousand people will be engaged in strengthening the positions of NATO in Eastern Europe ” alt=”AFP learned about the mobilization of 9.5 thousand soldiers in France because of the Russian operation” />

In France, more than 9,500 troops will be mobilized or put on alert by the end of next week due to the Russian military operation in Ukraine, a source in the country's General Staff told AFP, Le Parisien reports.

« We will have more than 1,500 French soldiers who will be directly involved in missions to strengthen NATO's position on the eastern flank, — said the source of the agency. 8,000 military “are on alert as part of the NATO Rapid Reaction Force.”

France will send 500 troops to Romania, and another 100 people will escort the upcoming arrival of four Mirage 2000-5 fighters, which should “strengthen the air defense of the Baltic countries” in Estonia, said a source in the General Staff.

Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on the night of February 24, President Vladimir Putin justified it by the need to protect the civilian population from “genocide”; by the authorities of the country. He called the decision a forced step and assured that Russia would not occupy the territory of a neighboring state. The Ministry of Defense claims that the shooting is carried out only on the military infrastructure of Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, 198 people died during the hostilities, more than 1.1 were affected.

France urged Russia “immediately” stop the military operation. French President Emmanuel Macron also noted that Paris is in solidarity with Kiev and is cooperating with partners to end the armed conflict as soon as possible.