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Home > Publications > PISM Bulletin > “D-Day” for France: Time for Paris to End Its Hedging on Russia

“D-Day” for France: Time for Paris to End Its Hedging on Russia

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13 June 2014
Nathan Dufour
no. 84 (679)

Although France has been vocal in its condemnation of Russia since the annexation of Crimea, domestic pressures are forcing a quick normalisation of bilateral relations. President François Hollande has, notably, resisted pressure to freeze the delivery of Mistral-class vessels to Russia. Moreover, his diplomatic manoeuvres at the recent "D-Day" celebrations in Normandy might allow him not only to maintain the deal, but also to reaffirm the strength of his country’s strategic relations with Russia. Trying to isolate France on this matter is hardly a credible option for Poland, not least because Paris, unlike Berlin, has been a strong supporter of demands for strategic reassurances from NATO. Instead, Poland needs to adopt a constructive stance towards France in order to further secure its support for a long-term NATO presence on Polish soil, as well as regular targeted defence and contingency planning.