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    Jean-Luc Melenchon of the French far left Parti de Gauche and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election delivers a speech during a political rally in Marseille, France, April 9, 2017.

    French Ex-Presidential Candidate Decries EU’s ‘Anti-Russian, Pro-NATO Hysteria’

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    The leader of the party La France Insoumise (Unbowed France), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, lambasted the possibility of Georgia joining the alliance and admitted that he considers accusations of being a Russian agent to be an honour.

    The leader of the left-wing La France Insoumise (Unbowed France), Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who contested Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 presidential election, has taken aim at NATO while campaigning ahead of the upcoming European elections.

    "It is in your interest to have members of parliament who will not take part in the anti-Russian and pro-NATO hysteria raging in the European Parliament”, he said, Le Figaro reports.

    He also denounced Georgia’s reported aspirations to join the alliance as "a crude and stupid provocation". He went on to warn against repeating the scenario of Ukraine, which he said "would put us in the hands of the irresponsible", arguing that NATO is "a military coalition that we do not run". He concluded that Europeans "have no interest in escalating tensions" with Russia.

    READ MORE: Georgia-NATO Ties Could Hamper Relations With Moscow — Russian Deputy FM

    "It's an honour for me to be compared to Russia’s agent because I want peace", he stated, hinting at criticism over his alleged sympathies to the EU’s eastern neighbour. 

    NATO has considerably beefed up its presence near Russia since the 2014 Ukraine crisis, sending battle groups, staging major exercises, and deploying reconnaissance aircraft and drones along the Russian border. 

    The Kremlin has repeatedly stated that Russia poses no threat to anyone, but will not ignore any potentially dangerous activities. On the contrary, Moscow has voiced alarm at NATO’s unprecedented activities and expanding presence near its border regions, citing an alleged “Russian threat”. 

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    Tags:
    diplomacy, NATO expansion, 2019 European Parliament Elections, NATO, La France insoumise (Unsubmissive France), Jean-Luc Melenchon, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, France
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