Fabien Roussel will be absent from the National Assembly on Wednesday when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will deliver a videoconference address. On Tuesday, March 22, the communist presidential candidate explained on Twitter that he was unable to do so due to family obligations.
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“On Wednesday, I will not be in the National Assembly when Volodymyr Zelensky speaks there. Do not see it as a political choice. I had the pain of losing my father-in-law and I chose to be on Wednesday alongside my partner and our family”, he wrote to justify his absence.
Mercredi, je ne serai pas à l’Assemblée nationale lorsque Volodymyr Zelensky y prendra la parole.
N’y voyez aucunement un choix politique.
J’ai eu la douleur de perdre mon beau père et j’ai choisi d’être mercredi aux côtés de ma compagne et de notre famille.
— Fabien Roussel (@Fabien_Roussel) March 22, 2022
In contrast, the candidate on National Rally, who announced on Monday that she would be unable to attend the Assembly on Wednesday due to media obligations, eventually changed her mind after receiving criticism for her decision.
“We moved a program” and “advanced an interview by a day,” the campaign team of the far-right candidate, who was received by Vladimir Putin during the 2017 presidential campaign and is still repaying a loan to a Russian creditor, told AFP.
Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country has been at war with Russia for nearly a month, has already addressed MEPs via video link on March 1, as well as the British Parliament, Canadian parliamentarians, the American Congress, the German Bundestag, and the Israeli Parliament.
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France is thus a new step for the Ukrainian president, who made this proposal to Assembly President Richard Ferrand (LREM). In a press release, he stated that he accepted because it is “in line with (the) action” of the Assembly to welcome him.
The Ukrainian president “will speak simultaneously before the two chambers at 3:00 p.m.,” according to the entourage of Senate President Gérard Larcher (LR).