AFP, published Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 22:24
A video announcing the withdrawal of France fromNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been viewed more than 150,000 times on Facebook. The publication should show how recent popular protests in France led to such a decision. This is false: not only has France not left NATO, it has just announced the strengthening of its military presence on the eastern flank.st NATO in the coming weeks.“War in Ukraine: France leaves NATO and abandons the United States“, here is the text accompanying a video of 2 min 33 seconds published on October 17, 2022 from the Le Monde De L’info page and shared more than 1,500 times. The video begins, commented on by a voiceover generated by the computer with images of “Thousands of angry French protesters gathered in the French capital to demand the country’s exit from the US-led NATO military alliance“.
According to the comment, the demonstration also called for the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron and was part of a wave of popular movements that hit several European countries. “to protest their government’s support for the war in Ukraine”.
The video, made from a montage of news footage, clearly makes NATO responsible for the deadlock in the war in Ukraine, sparked by the Russian invasion. “The steady flow of weapons from NATO members has mostly prolonged the conflict in Eastern Europe“, denounces the video that presents Russia as the country that has tried to favor the path of dialogue in the face of”NATO’s advance towards its borders“.
Facebook screenshot taken on October 19, 2022 Has France, which is one of Ukraine’s arms suppliers, decided to leave NATO? Contacted by the AFP, the Quai d’Orsay did not react immediately, but research shows that the French government has not made any announcement or appeal to that effect on its official communication channels.
On the contrary, Paris recently announced its intention to strengthen its military presence on NATO’s eastern flank in the coming weeks with additional troops equipped with tanks and armored vehicles, while the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is experiencing a new escalation.
“Given the situation on the eastern flank of NATO, given the violence of the fighting in Ukraine, in this war led by the Russian Federation, the President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron, ed) has decided to raise our defensive postureFrench Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu said on 11 October during a hearing before the Senate defense commission.
Framework nation for a NATO mission in Romania, currently with 350 French soldiers, but also Belgian and Dutch soldiers, France intends to deploy a dozen armored infantry vehicles (VBCI) and a dozen Leclerc tanks in this country in the coming weeks, Lecornu said. It then prepares to double its workforce on the ground in November, according to AFP military sources.
“We will also continue to strengthen our defense position in Lithuania”with the deployment of Rafale fighter jets to watch the skies, “and in Estonia where a reinforced light infantry company will be deployed” in 2023 equipped with Griffon vehicles, or a hundred more men in addition to the 300 soldiers already stationed there, the Minister of the Armed Forces was even added.
According to the ministry’s estimates, the French budget effort to strengthen NATO’s defensive position in Eastern countries is expected to be between 600 and 700 million euros this year.
If it is therefore clear that France has no intention of withdrawing from NATO, where does the claim that Paris come from?leave the United States“? The authors of the video may have been referring to the absence of France during the military exercise Fixed noon organized by NATO in October to test its nuclear deterrence system in Europe. Fourteen of the 30 member countries of the Alliance participate but not France, whose nuclear deterrence policy is independent of NATO and this does not mean that the country is abandoning or abandoning its partners. This doctrine, which gives it a certain autonomy, is rather considered a resource by NATO, as reaffirmed in June 2021 at the Brussels summit.
“The independent strategic nuclear forces of the UK and France play their deterrent role and contribute significantly to the overall security of the Alliance. The distinct decision-making centers of these allies contribute to deterrence, complicating the calculations of potential adversaries“, Thus estimated the joint NATO communiqué at the end of the summit.
To explain what motivated the alleged French decision a “Leave NATO”the viral publication evokes massive popular demonstrations in France and throughout Europe acclaimed by various Internet users, for whom “the only solution is to leave NATO “.” If the leaders want an illegal war, let the people dissociate “, adds another.
Screenshot of 10/19/2022 The first images of the video show in particular a demonstration in Paris. A reverse image search using the InVID-WeVerify tool allows us to find a series of videos relating to events that recently took place in the French capital. On the key image suggested by Google, a large banner with the words “Resistence“allows us to find the original video. This event was organized on October 9, 2022 by The patriotsa far-right movement that regularly rallies its supporters against the health pass, to demand France’s exit from NATO or the European Union.
YouTube screenshot taken on October 19, 2022 Facebook screenshot taken on October 19, 2022
In this long version of the video published by movement leader Florian Philippot, you can hear the slogans chanted by the demonstrators who also carry placards: “Macron’s impeachment“,”we leave NATO“,”no to inflation” or “Equality of freedomContrary to what the video posted on Facebook suggests, this march does not reflect the opinion of the entire French society. It is the initiative of a far-right minority movement in the French political spectrum.