The former Chief of Staff of the French Armed Forces advocated a “peace approach” to get out of the Ukrainian conflict which, according to him, does not correspond to the interests of European countries, starting with France, but rather those of the United States.
In an interview granted to RMC-BFM TV on November 9 on the occasion of the release of his new book Paroles d’honneur, the former Chief of Staff of the Army Pierre de Villiers expressed concern about the worsening of international tensions related to the Ukrainian conflict, and called to “stop the escalation” as soon as possible.
“It is time to find a solution that is not dishonorable for the Ukrainians,” said the senior officer, advocating a de-escalation and a “peace approach” while the conflict has lasted for over eight months. According to the general, “the war in Ukraine is not in the interest of European countries, certainly not of France, perhaps of the Americans”, even though Paris has decided to increase its support to Kiev, both by delivering new weapons and by training Ukrainian soldiers. At the beginning of October, Russia summoned the French ambassador to Moscow to protest against the delivery of arms to Kiev.
Pierre de Villiers: "La guerre en Ukraine n'est pas l'intérêt des pays européens, certainement pas de la France, peut-être des Américains" pic.twitter.com/0KRmE8LxZ5
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) November 9, 2022
Asked about concerns about a possible “bluff” by Moscow regarding the use of nuclear weapons – regularly expressed in the West despite numerous reminders of the defensive nature of Russian doctrine on the subject – Pierre de Villiers compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to a “dictator in a tunnel”, which could, in his opinion, lead him to extreme choices. “When they [the Russians] say something, they do it,” the general judged, confessing to being surprised by the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24.
The general also returned to the means allocated to the French armies, whose inadequacy had motivated his fractious resignation in 2017. “Between 2008 and 2015, we have removed 20% of military personnel,” recalled the former chief of staff, seeing it as a real “fault.” The military programming law provides that the budget of the armies will be increased to 44 billion euros in 2023, after a further increase of three billion euros. In 2017, this envelope amounted to 32 billion euros. “I think it will be insufficient,” said the senior officer, while the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron is to unveil his guidelines for the future of the French defense in Toulon this 9.