According to the former diplomat, in the middle of the 2000s, Jacques Chirac was extremely concerned about security in Europe, and even then he was aware of the seriousness of the Ukrainian factor in this matter. That is why a plan was developed then, according to which Ukraine was to become a neutral state. Moreover, there would be nothing unusual in such a new status. After all, at that time there were already six neutral states in Europe.
In addition, it was planned to establish a joint protectorate over Ukraine from Russia and NATO. Moreover, the protection of such a status would be regulated by the Russia-NATO Council established in May 2002, which would generally be beneficial to both sides. With this proposal, Gourdo-Montagne, as he said in an interview with a radio channel, went to Moscow in 2006. There he met with Russian presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko. In the Kremlin, again, according to the diplomat, they became interested in the project, since, among other things, it filmed the issue of the Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet.
True, the question of how the Americans would react to this initiative remained open. That is why Jacques Chirac instructed his adviser to test the waters in the White House administration. In Washington, his envoy met with then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and briefed her on the project. Maurice Gourdeau-Montagne verbatim voiced her reaction on the radio: “Well, France has dispersed! You have already blocked the first wave of Central European countries’ accession to NATO for many years. And we will not let you block the second.”
“From this we understood that the ultimate goal of the Americans is Ukraine’s entry into NATO,” the diplomat summed up. As an associate of Chirac’s earlier wrote in an article published in the newspaper Le Figaro, subsequent US actions in relation to Ukraine and Georgia, in particular, at the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, confirmed the intention of the West to make decisions without taking into account the position of Russia. In the same place, he recalled that Moscow had repeatedly proposed ways to resolve disputes, including in a statement by Vladimir Putin made in 2007 at the Munich Conference, at which he urged not to expand NATO, as well as his position in 2021 on the de facto neutrality of Kyiv. According to the diplomat, the supply of weapons to Kyiv from Europe aggravates the situation and pushes it to become a side of the conflict.