Paris, Jul 14 (EFE).- French president Emmanuel Macron presided over the traditional Bastille Day military parade to mark the country’s national day on Thursday.
The war in Ukraine cast a shadow over this year’s parade, with the unusual presence of the Nato flag and guest military figures from nine countries from central and eastern Europe in attendance.
Of the nearly 5,000 soldiers who paraded on the iconic Avenue des Champs Elysées, 106 were from Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Czechia, Romania and Slovakia — all formerly part of the Soviet-backed defensive alliance known as the Warsaw Pact — who France wanted to show its support to amid the threat posed by Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
The parade also served as a reminder of France’s direct involvement in their security, with 125 representatives of French troops serving in missions on Europe’s eastern flank, which have been reinforced since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.
Although “the French Army is not directly involved, it is fully concerned by this war which directly threatens Nato member countries,” a press release by the ministry of defense said. EFE