INTERVIEW. War in Ukraine: “Retaliations can be indirect…” What does France risk if one of its bombs reaches Russia?

INTERVIEW. War in Ukraine: “Retaliations can be indirect…” What does France risk if one of its bombs reaches Russia?
INTERVIEW. War in Ukraine: “Retaliations can be indirect…” What does France risk if one of its bombs reaches Russia?

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Russia has accused Ukraine of attacking it with French Hammer guided bombs in Russia’s Belgorod region. Do we have any proof of these allegations? What consequences could this have on France? Interview.

General Jean-Claude Allard is an expert in defense and security policy at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris).

This Saturday, May 18, Russia accused the kyiv regime of having attacked it with French Hammer guided bombs. Do we have proof of this?

Jean-Claude Allard: Our Ministry of Defense denied, as far as it knew, the use of French bombs to reach Russian territory. Indeed, the conditions imposed on Ukraine for the supply of these weapons do not provide for such use. And I think the French army assumes that the Ukrainians respected these conditions. However, we must recognize that we do not necessarily control the way Ukraine organizes itself to accomplish a mission on Russian territory…

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Do these conditions allow us not to be considered belligerents?

Yes, because Russia can exploit the use of Western weapons against its army or its installations, on its own territory, as an argument to increase tension. This allows him to formulate threats of reprisals, which is the great fear of Westerners. This is why, until now, aircraft and long-range weapons have not been delivered.

What could be the consequences of this episode for France?

First of all, I don’t think that the use of French or Western bombs on Russian territory will lead to an intensification of the conflict, or armed reprisals on the part of Russia. But retaliation can manifest itself indirectly through cyberattacks, disinformation or circumvention, in other words through indirect military strategies. We have already paid the price: since the start of the war in Ukraine, France has been driven out of Niger, Mali, or the Central African Republic… by the Russians.

Do you think Western weapons will end up being used against Russia on its own territory?

You know, when Emmanuel Macron suggests sending ground troops to Ukraine, it is much more serious, in terms of commitment to the war, than seeing our weapons destroy a Russian fuel depot… Things could soon change indeed. The American president announced that he would authorize the delivery to Ukraine of ATACMS missiles with a range of 170 and 300 kilometers. At this distance, wherever one is in Ukrainian-held territory, one will be able to reach Russia.

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