icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
17 Feb, 2024 14:56

France warns of ‘economic shock’ from Russian victory

Control over Ukraine’s fertile lands would allow Moscow to “attack” European farmers, FM Stephane Sejourne has said
France warns of ‘economic shock’ from Russian victory

A potential Russian victory in Ukraine could deal an economic blow to the West because Moscow would gain control of vast resources, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has said.

In an opinion piece for the French daily Le Monde published on Saturday, the minister argued that Moscow wanted Paris to believe that it would be “more reasonable to abandon the Ukrainians to their tragic fate.” He protested against this point, saying that “the French are not fools” and that there were few things that “would be more contrary” to the country’s interests.

Beyond the security risks, however, a Russian victory would also have powerful economic repercussions for the West, Sejourne said. “Allowing Russia to seize the Ukrainian black lands, which are among the most fertile in the world, would be to abdicate a part of food sovereignty, accept unbridled inflation, and provide Russia with unprecedented means of pressure and extortion,” he stated.

Recalling that Ukraine accounts for 30% of global wheat exports, the minister claimed that Moscow’s control over those resources would enable it to “attack our own farmers.” He also said that Europe would be at “an immense risk” if Russia were allowed to continue controlling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest facility of its kind on the continent, without elaborating on why.

“Europe and the world, the French people would suffer an unprecedented economic shock,” Sejourne stressed.

Russian troops seized the power station in March 2022 shortly after the start of the Ukraine conflict. After four former Ukrainian regions, including Zaporozhye, voted to join Russia later the same year, the facility was transferred to state ownership.

Sejourne went on to urge the West to resist the “temptation of fatigue.” “Today’s efforts to support Ukraine are nothing compared to those we would have to deploy against a Russia that feels victorious,” he said, insisting that the current policies would allow Kiev’s backers to keep control over prices.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West against supporting Ukraine with arms, warning that it will only prolong the conflict. The Russian military also said last month that it had eliminated several dozen mercenaries in Ukraine, saying that most of them were French-speaking. 

While Paris initially denied that there were any French mercenaries in Ukraine, it later admitted that a number of French nationals had indeed joined Kiev’s forces, although it insisted they had no links to the national government.