01:24 GMT +306 December 2019
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    Commenting on the breakdown in relations between France and Russia, French journalist Nicolas Bonnal argued that France's most sensible cultural and political figures, from nineteenth century writer Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand to twentieth century president Valery Giscard d'Estaing, understood that Russia is France's natural ally.

    Without Russia, France Doomed to Defeat and Humiliation – French Journalist

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    Commenting on the breakdown in relations between France and Russia, French journalist Nicolas Bonnal argued that France's most sensible cultural and political figures, from nineteenth century writer Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand to twentieth century president Valery Giscard d'Estaing, understood that Russia is France's natural ally.

    In an article for the French web journal Boulevard Voltaire, Bonnal appealed to the realm of history, arguing that "wisdom has always argued in favor of a Franco-Russian friendship. Indeed, our rapprochement with the Anglo-Saxons, cultivated by the colonialists and the bourgeois elites in the nineteenth century, has brought defeats and humiliation for France."

    Recalling that former president d'Estaing was personally invited in 2012 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Borodino, Bonnal cited the president's appeal on the occasion. D'Estaing noted that "France and Russia fought on the same side during the two world wars…We spent more time together than fighting one another, since France has almost always been a strategic partner of Russia."

    Next, Bonnal cited Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, the founder of Romanticism in French literature, who noted in his memoirs: "There is a mutual sympathy between Russia and France; the latter practically brought up the former's upper classes of society, giving her her language and manners. Placed at both ends of Europe, the borders of France and Russia are not connected to one another; there is no battlefield for them to meet; they do not have any commercial rivalry, and the natural enemies of Russia (the British and the Austrians) –are also the natural enemies of France. In times of peace, when the cabinet in Tuileries remains allies with the cabinet in St. Petersburg, nothing can move in Europe. In time of war, the union of the two powers will dictate its rules to the world."

    In Bonnal's view, French society has fallen under the influence of anti-Russian propaganda, noting that it "is doubtless too much to ask of our politicians and their voters, who will stick to the customary anti-Czarist propaganda of our old media." 

    The article prompted an insightful debate on Boulevard Voltaire's Facebook comments section. A user named Francois asserted that "Russia and France are two countries which naturally complement one another, from the position of their strategic position in Europe, but also as a result of their cultural exchange, which has lasted at least since the time of the Enlightenment." 

    Michel concurred with Francois's point, noting that "thanks to the alliance with Russia we even created a dessert –the 'Francorusse'. But speaking seriously (more seriously, than President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius), standing opposed to Russia is not in France's interests. It would be better to stand opposed to Obama!" William agreed, noting that "it is clear that France would have much to gain from a rapprochement with Russia than from vassalage to the US."

    Chatellenaz continued on Chateaubriand's point about the influence of French culture and language on the Russian elite, noting that "the royal court spoke in French, and the children of noble families were educated by French tutors. If you go to Moscow, visit the Vvedenskoye Cemetery, where you will find their graves, next to the pilots of the Normandy-Neiman regiment. The great Russian writers (Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoevsky) wrote as much in French as they did in Russian."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    France, alliance, bilateral relations, relations, cooperation, Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand, Nicolas Bonnal, Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Francois Hollande, Europe, Russia
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