The First Round of the French Presidential elections will be held on Sunday as the race is quickly becoming dominated between the conservative/populist Marine Le Pen and centre-left candidate Emmanuel Macron.
However, in recent weeks, the embattled centre-right candidate Francois Fillon has been experiencing something of a resurgence.
As he has done in the past, Fillon has come out and adopted one of Marine Le Pen’s policies.
Marine Le Pen has been a consistent supporter of the Crimean people’s exercise of democratic self-determination when they re-united with their historic mother country, Russia in 2014. She has also supported the right of the Donbass people in their struggle to achieve recognition of the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
Now Fillon has come out in support of that stance, albeit in a more rhetorically lukewarm manner.
Fillon has said,
“It is futile to demand that Russia should leave Crimea, it will never happen…. Nobody can deny that from historic, cultural and linguistic points of view Crimea is Russian”.
He went on to say that Crimea’s situation is best solved through an international conference at the United Nations.
This is where Fillon shows his divergence with Le Pen.
Fillon must realise that there is no situation in Crimea. Crimea is a peaceful part of Russia, no different from Vladivostok or Moscow. There is simply nothing left to discuss at any level.
Furthermore, it is not about ‘Russia leaving Crimea’, it would be Crimea which would leave Russia if many in the west got their way. This will simply never happen and there is no logical need for it to ever happen.
Fillon’s attempt at showing foreign policy realism has yet again fallen flat, just as his campaign had done for months.