Nicolas Sarkozy defends Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine

Disgraced French president Nicolas Sarkozy is branded a ‘clown’ after shamefully defending Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine while promoting his new book

  • Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy said Ukraine should not be able to join Nato
  • In his new memoir, the politician said a return of Crimea to Ukraine is ‘illusory’  

Disgraced former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been branded a ‘mendacious clown’ and ‘shameful’ for supporting Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 68-year-old defended Moscow in an interview to promote his 560-page memoir Les Temps des Combats (The Time of Battles).

In the interview and book, he argued that Ukraine should not be able to join Nato or the EU and described the country as ‘belligerent’.

He added that a return of the Crimea to Ukraine was ‘illusory’.

In an advanced copy of the book, seen by The Observer, Mr Sarkozy writes: ‘It is said we are fighting a war against Russia without fighting it. Clearly we are not engaged on the ground, but we are delivering weapons to one of the belligerents’.

Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) was branded a ‘clown’ for defending Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine  

Nicolas Sarkozy is an ally of Vladimir Putin (pictured) and advocates the special relationship Paris shared with Moscow in the post-war years

He adds: ‘Russia will remain our neighbour whether we like it or not. We must find ways and means to re-establish neighbourly or at least calmer relations.’

Mr Sarkozy is an ally of Vladimir Putin and advocates the special relationship Paris shared with Moscow in the post-war years after it was forged by wartime leader Charles de Gaulle.

Mr Sarkozy argued that many in Russia would view Ukraine’s inclusion into Nato as a hostile act by the West.

He wrote: ‘Ukraine must pledge to remain neutral… Nato could at the same time affirm its willingness to respect and take into account Russia’s historic fear of being encircled by unfriendly neighbours.’

But former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves said Mr Sarkozy was ‘France’s most mendacious post-war foreign policy president’, adding: ‘Why take this clown seriously?’

Nicolas Sarkozy said ‘Ukraine must pledge to remain neutral,’ in his new memoir Les Temps de Combats  

Jerome Poirot, a former intelligence officer who served under Mr Sarkozy, said his book was a ‘shameful’ rewriting of history.

In the book, Mr Sarkozy also describes former UK prime minister Boris Johnson as being ‘swept away by the lack of conviction that led him to support Brexit out of personal calculation’.

Mr Sarkozy is appealing against two 12-month prison sentences imposed for illegal election campaign funding and attempting to corrupt a judge.

Prosecutors in France are about to begin a trial against him in which they allege he received money for political campaigning from Muammar Gaddafi- who was dictator in Libya until his execution in October 2011.

He denies any wrongdoing.

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