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War in Ukraine: a symbolic and political vote in the Assembly

The executive wants to make it a moment of truth, three months before the European elections.

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War in Ukraine: a symbolic and political vote in the Assembly

The executive wants to make it a moment of truth, three months before the European elections. Gabriel Attal is expected before the National Assembly this Tuesday to defend France's support plan for Ukraine, in the war which has pitted it against Russia for more than two years. The Prime Minister's speech must be followed by a debate and then a symbolic vote, at the very end of the afternoon, before a similar exercise planned for Wednesday in the Senate.

Having to march to the podium one by one, opposition representatives intend to take advantage of this to target Emmanuel Macron's recent outing on the possible sending of Western troops to reinforce Kiev. A “strategic ambiguity” assumed by the head of state, who refuses to “set limits” in the face of Moscow, as he confirmed to party bosses last Thursday at the Élysée.

Comments which should be included in the discussion, at the risk of relegating to the background the civil and military aid signed last month with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “This vote should have focused on the security agreement, but Emmanuel Macron's recent comments on sending ground troops prevail,” warns Insoumis MP Arnaud Le Gall, who will speak this Tuesday on behalf of the Melenchonist group. Even if the vote, called under article 50-1 of the Constitution, is not “binding”, the sequence could split the Hemicycle into two camps. “For us, it’s rather favorable. It divides on the electoral level and it speaks to the people who vote for us or for Raphaël Glucksmann”, assumes a deputy of the majority. Way of sending those who oppose the agreement back to a supposed “complacency” with the Kremlin.

Hence the “trap” mentioned by someone close to Marine Le Pen, who intends to respond cautiously. If the party with the flame should a priori abstain or vote against, the RN vice-president of the Assembly, Sébastien Chenu, indicated on France 3 that the nationalist deputies would decide “based on the speech of Gabriel Attal”, including they are waiting for “clarifications”. As for the LR right, where we support the defense of Ukraine despite some reservations, the party boss, Éric Ciotti, denounced the “instrumentalization for the purposes of the electoral campaign” of the conflict by the executive.

Although very favorable to Paris standing “unwaveringly” alongside Kiev, the Environmentalists have also begun to doubt since Emmanuel Macron’s declarations. “We will decide on Tuesday morning in a group meeting,” dodges a Green strategist. On the Insoumis side, where we also refuse to reveal the voting instructions, the choice will probably be made between abstention or opposition. “If the Prime Minister's speech includes the elements found in the treaty”, such as Ukraine's accession to NATO, Fabien Roussel indicated that the PCF would vote against. Within the late Nupes, only the socialists therefore assume the responsibility of voting “for”, as assured by the group’s boss, Boris Vallaud.

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