Letter sent to Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, asking him for the effective application of the fifth package of sanctions and for, consequently, the expulsion of the Russian ship « Shtandart » from French ports. It is, moreover, proposed to share, with the State agencies, the findings evidenced by #NoShtandartInEurope regarding the ramifications of the pro-Russian influence network exercising its hold on the city of La Rochelle.
Nantes, December 18, 2022
Re : request for the application of the 5th round of sanctions against the Russian ship « Shtandart » based in La Rochelle
Mr. President of the French Republic,
On July 8, 2022, Oleh Sentsov and Roman Sushchenko, former Kremlin prisoners, wrote to the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, to ask her that the 5th round of sanctions, unanimously voted, on April 8, by the Member States of the EU, is effectively implemented and that the Russian ship Shtandart ceases to carry out its commercial activities as well as its mission as ambassador of the Russian Federation in French ports. Thirty representative organizations of the Ukrainian community in France have added their signatures to this letter. They were never answered.
Previously, on June 16, 2022, Oleksiy Goncharenko, Member of Parliament for Odessa and member of the Permanent Parliamentary Delegation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe (Ukr), wrote to Jean-François Fountaine, Mayor of La Rochelle, asking an end to the circumvention of sanctions in this city. In addition, he denounced the instrumentalisation, in the Russian ship favor, of humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Finally, he revealed the bullying campaign carried out against the Ukrainians of La Rochelle so that they would not express their opposition to the presence of the Shtandart. The mayor never responded.
On June 25, 2022, the Lviv City Council referred the Yermak-McFaul Commission (Fr) to the case of violation of sanctions by the city of La Rochelle. The case is being scrutinized by the Ukrainian MFA.
Since, Shtandart has made La Rochelle its home port. In Ukraine, the compromise of certain French authorities with regard to the Russian ship Shtandart raises doubts as to the dignity of our country. For their part, the Ukrainians of France, and the French people supporting Ukraine, are deeply shocked. On Sunday December 11, delegations from different cities came to La Rochelle to back their local counterparts. They paraded from the port to the town hall. There, they demanded that Jean-François Fountaine does not dishonor France’s signature and does not betray European commitments.
However, it should be emphasized that the Shtandart case is not limited to sanctions alone. Our committee offers to bring, to State agencies, sourced evidences showing the links of Vladimir Putin’s regime with the ship and with its captain, Vladimir Martus. Our committee can show you why the latter is not the opponent he is trying to make you believe.
Mr President, on 23 November, 2022, the European Parliament recognized that the Russian Federation was a state sponsor of terrorism. Our commitee takes the liberty of asking you that all the above-mentioned whistleblowers be finally heard. We hope that you will quickly have your prefect of Charente-Maritime, Nicolas Basselier, take an expulsion measure against the Russian ship. We wish, for the sake of our country, that the network of influence built by and for the Shtandart, if not for the Russian state, leads to an investigation regarding national security issues and that our government makes sure that the calamitous case of La Rochelle is not duplicated in other French ports.
Thanking you in advance, please accept, Mr. President, the expression of my very respectful consideration.
Spokesperson of « No Shtandart In Europe » committee
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