French President Emmanuel Macron answered questions about Paris’s nuclear weapons policy in a Wednesday television interview. He indicated that Moscow detonating a nuclear weapon in Ukraine would not cause Paris to use its nukes. Macron is facing criticism for his remarks.
Paris’s current nuclear policy only allows for the deployment of its ultimate weapons in self-defense. In the interview, Marcon expressed a nuclear attack on Ukraine would not directly threaten France.
On France 2, Macron was asked “Would France consider a tactical strike by Russia as a nuclear strike?” He replied: “France has a nuclear doctrine. It lies in the nation’s fundamental interests that are clearly defined. They wouldn’t be questioned should there be a ballistic nuclear attack.”
Kasja Ollongren, defense minister of the Netherlands, criticized Macron, Saying "[p]art of our deterrence is also not to speculate publicly on what kind of response, in what kind of situation, they would get." She continued, "I would not comment on different possibilities and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’."
The Financial Times reported that NATO officials were unwilling to give a public statement on Marcon’s remarks. However, speaking privately they said it was alliance policy not to spell out when nuclear weapons would be used. An official added that a conventional strike on Russia was a likely response to Moscow using nuclear weapons in Ukraine.
Marcon was also attacked by politicians at home. Former French President François Hollande said on FranceInfo radio, Marcon should "say as little as possible and be prepared to do as much as possible." He added, "[nuclear] dissuasion’s credibility relies on not saying anything about what we would have to do."
Jean-Louis Thiériot, vice president of the National Assembly’s armed forces committee issued a sharper rebuke. "When I heard him speak, I almost fell off my chair. It’s a political mistake. One of the principles of nuclear dissuasion is that there’s an uncertainty as to what is considered a vital interest," he said.
Marcon Tweeted Thursday, "We do not want a World War." When asked about the president’s remarks, Macron’s office said Paris’s nuclear policy has not changed. "Nuclear deterrence is the prerogative of the head of state and his appreciation in a given moment of what is necessary to preserve our vital interests," the official said.
Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.
23 thoughts on “Macron: France Won’t Respond to a Nuclear Strike on Ukraine With Nuclear Weapons”
Endless baloney. Russia is not going to start a nuclear war.
I’d be less than honest, if I didn’t tell you, I have my fingers crossed?…
“We do not want a World War”… Sounds good to me. Have a nice day.
You said it, Donna!
Interesting. Slavic speaking, NATO seeking, current government of Ukraine – France, she is not really that into you.
You have a certain poetic quality here, albeit, unpleasant…
I would argue otherwise. For half a millennia Paris was the Russian home away from home, and French, their preferred tongue. It’s the Anglo culture has no soul.
At least one leader of a NATO country does not have his head up his ass.The other morons are flirting with Nuclear fire. There are no winners if that happens.Its more then time for diplomacy to end this situation started back in 2014 by the US overturning a legal election despite the demands of the MIC screaming for more profits.
I am old and have reached a point of enough clarity to make me believe to never believe a politician. He had an opportunity to lead Europe on February 8, 2022. He blew it spectacularly. Actions speak louder than words.
Right. Macron and France (with La Pen in the wings), would have pushed Germany with her female warrior leadership, out of the way to lead Europe in opposition to NATO and the Americans.
I believe that if it had been both France and Germany, there might have been a chance.
Even now, all European NATO member states could simply tell Biden to get lost, sit down and negotiate with honesty, nothing more from us, you are on your own.
Biden and Zelensky are the fools with the finger on the red button.
You are not wrong, he’s a pol, ergo spineless; but, he’s also a Normale-ian, ergo Cartesian.
“The other morons are flirting with Nuclear fire.”
I rather believe this is all jingo for us morons. As you say, it would be a suicide vest for the species. Modern ordinance can match nuclear in kilo tonnage, overmatch it in precision, and have none of the unwanted side effect.
Macron knows this and is just being coldly rational in the best Gallic tradition.
Good and smart to spell it out to prevent potential false flag accidents and incidents. But where were you in February, man?
No need to go nuclear unless coward Putin fires the first salvo to protect his ego and ruin his legacy.
Here’s a reality on the ground within the Russian soldiers.
War isn’t like your daily life don Julio. There weren’t that many smart phones around in WWII and Vietnam.
Yes, i agree. Thanks for reminding me that. I have almost completely forgotten my combat tours in Irak and Afghanistan.
But im confused, what does your comment have to do with mine? Smart phones?
We’ve seen evidence via returned soldiers of discontent with the conditions of war for a very long time. It’s just much more easily arrived at today, as so many soldiers and citizens have immediate access to media.
War hasn’t changed all that much in the past few thousand years, as far as its participants are concerned.
I can’t address your graphic, as I don’t go to references I don’t trust.
“We do not want a World War.” Hilarious since you’ve been agitating for it. Your response to Russian demand for Ukraine neutrality, “you need to speak to Biden. I’m just his little poodle.”
Every time I re-read this post, I keep thinking what an interesting political cartoon it would make…
France may not, but Wash. will. Why else for the nuclear war games on Monday? Dress rehearsal? Obviously we’re in for WWIII and the end of life as we have known it, and who’s to blame? Americans and the rest of NATO countries populations that are doing nothing to stop it, but, what can we do? any thoughts? We know protesting does no good, the state has their own agenda and won’t budge from it. Remember what happened to the Veterans Bonus and Kent State protestors? And, also the pathetic, ‘Occupy’ movement that went out with a whimper and no change happened.
Macron is a wise man…something that’s becoming an anomaly among western politicians.
Someone send Macron a Large order of Freedom Fries! France has always had the ‘we’re gonna do this our way’ vibe going and it’s good to see someone has the guts to defy Washington’s diktat on nukes. I’m pretty sure this won’t be lost on the Germans or Brits, either, when they realize tossing nukes around a closet-sized Europe is going to spell the end of Europe. Making oneself a nuke target is generally not a good idea.
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