Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a French politician. He was a member of the National Assembly from 2017 to 2022. He directed the La France Insoumise group in the National Assembly from 2017 to 2021. Further, he served as a Member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2017.
In the wake of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, he accused the cause of the conflict of what he termed as NATO “pushing ever closer to Russia’s borders”, and further, opposed delivering arms to Ukraine.
In the past, Mélenchon backed the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, noting that “…Crimean ports were vital for Russia’s security“, and that Russia was taking “…protective measures against an adventurous putschist power”, also alleging that neo-Nazis influenced Ukraine. He further resisted imposing sanctions on Russia, and as a member of the European Parliament, voted against all forms of cooperation with Ukraine, including on science. In 2015, Melenchon referred to Ukraine as a country “…struggling to be one.” For Mélenchon, Putin’s unlawful annexation of Crimea was not just understandable, but laudable.
Some magazine editors argued Mélenchon “supported Russia” and was sympathetic towards Vladimir Putin. Notably, the journalist Nicolas Hénin stated that Mélenchon is “on the left of the political spectrum, but is an advocator for the Kremlin leader”, with Hénin quoting how Mélenchon is the “political victim number one” after the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. Cécile Vaissié, the author of The Kremlin Networks, believes Jean-Luc Mélenchon is “one of those that approve of Putin”, and Yannick Jadot of EELV said that the “pro-Russia” stance is “contrary to any environment thinking”.
Moreover, He has compared an intervention in Syria to Iraq. He has supported Russia’s intervention in Syria, stating that he believes Vladimir Putin will resolve the ISIS problem in Syria, commenting “It was the Russians who cut off the lines of supply that Daesh used to smuggle oil to Turkey“.