French Senator condemns Russia, backs Ukraine, as she is elected NATO PA President

21 November 2022

French Senator Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam condemned Russia´s war on Ukraine and lauded the Ukrainian people for defending Western values after she was elected President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) on Monday for the next year.   

Garriaud-Maylam, an outgoing Vice-President and member of the Assembly for 14 years, was elected by acclamation during the NATO PA´s 68th Annual Session. 

Her tenure at the helm comes as the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II rages, with its devastating impact on food supplies, just as economies struggle to return to growth from the coronavirus pandemic. Climate change and China´s rise pose additional security concerns. 

As Garriaud-Maylam thanked the Assembly for its support, she noted that Western allies had failed to listen to the warnings of their Eastern partners before President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into Ukraine. 

“Now, no doubt is possible,” she said. Russian leaders, Garriaud-Maylam said, “are acting like real terrorists, showing unprecedent barbarism by attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure. We must act, and they must be judged as terrorists in front of international tribunals.” 

“As NATO parliamentarians, we must support Ukraine, we must support its people. People who are everyday showing courage and resilience in the service of our values of Freedom, democracy and sovereignty,” she added. 

In electing its leadership team, the Assembly also elected five Vice-Presidents on Monday: Zaida Cantera from Spain; Nicu Falcoi from Romania; Kevan Jones from the United Kingdom; Linda Sánchez from the United States; Michał Szczerba from Poland. 

Garriaud-Maylam succeeds outgoing President, US Congressman Gerald E. Connolly. She has been a Senator of the French Republic since 2004 and represents French citizens living outside France. 

An international lawyer by vocation, the new NATO PA President is also a member of the Committee for European Affairs and Vice-President of the Delegation of Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities. 

Additionally, she is a member of the National Commission for the Elimination of Anti-Personnel Mines and Cluster Munitions. 

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