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French court rules to close DPR bureau in Marseille

It is reported that this is the second time when a French court demands the DPR’s mission in France be closed

PARIS, July 22. /TASS/. A court in Aix-en-Provence has ruled to shut down the Marseille-based association Representation of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in France, the Center’s chief, Hubert Fayard, told TASS on Friday.

"I have just received a notification about the court ruling. Our association has been dissolved. Many other countries, which have not been recognized by France, have the right to be present here, but for one - the Donetsk People’s Republic," he said, adding that representation centers of Catalonia and the Republic of Artsakh (non-recognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) are registered in France and the authorities do not demand their closure.

"One day, France will have to recognize the existence of both Donbass republics. But today, despite the tsunami in the media, there are men and women in France who continue to support the two republics. And on my part, I am proud that I could make a contribution in the struggle for the DPR’s existence," he said. "This court ruling will never kill the daily growing hope to see the republic in its borders offering its people prosperity and freedom of choice of their future, the freedom to live far from neo-Nazi fantasies."

According to Rayard, this is the second time when a French court demands the DPR’s mission in France be closed. In March 2021, the Aix-en-Provence court of appeals ruled to close the DOR representation center in Marseille despite the ruling of the first instance court to recognize the association’s legality. However, he said back then that he had another association under the same name and he would continue to support the republic on its behalf. Only in May 2022, the French prosecutor’s office demanded the association be dissolved and filed a corresponding suit with court.

Fayard said he is not ready to share his plans for the future, including about possible challenging today’s court ruling. He said he has a month for that. He also said he will discuss further steps with DPR Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova.

"I am a Frenchman, but I hope to be part of the Russian world some day and receive the passport of the republic I defended," he added.