Posted on: May 16, 2022 Posted by: Betty Lee Comments: 0


President has helped coordinate the response to ‘s invasion of , but he has pursued a different tack than his fellow European leaders. Over the last few months, he has kept a dialogue open with the premier while others cut ties, but the attempt at diplomacy appears to have backfired as a recent announcement from suggests he has crossed a line.

During an interview with Italian broadcasters Rai on May 13, President Zelensky accused Mr Macron of working to help Putin “save face”.

He called out the French President during the Porta a Porta show, accusing him of suggesting Ukraine forfeit some of its territories to appease Russia.

Mr Zelensky said his country was not “on Russian soil” and that his people wanted the invading army to “leave our land”.

He added: “We won’t help Putin save face by paying with our territory. That would be unjust.”

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The attempt to find “a way out for Russia” was made in vain, he said, while France claimed Mr Macron had never made the suggestion.

Elysee officials took to social media to dispute Mr Zelensky’s claims, stating that he hadn’t advocated concessions for Russia.

Anne-Sophie Bradelle, Mr Macron’s international communications advisor, said: “The French President has never ever discussed anything with VVP [Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin] without President Zelensky’s consent and has never asked him for any concession.

“He has always said that it was up to the Ukrainians to decide the terms of their negotiations with the Russians.”

While France has denied Mr Zelensky’s accusation, the quotes he passed on echo others made in an EU Parliament address earlier this month.

On May 9, President Macron laid out his vision for a peaceful Europe to attendees at a Strasbourg conference.

After the conflict ends in Ukraine, he said, Europe needs “new security balances” and to “never give in to the temptation of humiliation”.

Alongside the “spirit of revenge”, he claimed they had “already in the past wreaked enough havoc on the roads to peace”.

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Mr Macron has not changed his tack with Russia since the country started invading Ukraine in February.

While other western leaders have communicated with a show of force, with sanctions and arms sent to Mr Zelensky’s administration, he has pursued diplomacy.

His current and former positions have held that Russia is European, and he has frequently advocated for the country’s security.

In February, two weeks before the invasion began, he said: “There is no security for Europeans if there is no security for Russia”.

His address to Strasbourg is ideologically similar to another he delivered more than a month before the invasion.

On January 22 he advocated working with Russia to build a “European order founded on principles and rules to which we have committed”.

He said the bloc should adhere to principles it signed with Russia after the downfall of the Soviet Union.

In February 2020, he made a similar statement when addressing a crowd at the Ecole de Guerre French military academy.

The French President told attendees he wanted Russia to be a “constructive player in our common security”.

He said Europe should strengthen its dialogue with Russia “at a time when the number of security issues that need to be addressed with Moscow are increasing”.

His recent pursuit of dialogue has seen him unwilling to come down on Putin while discussing war crimes.

While he admitted he was committing war crimes in Ukraine, Mr Macron refused to agree with US President Joe Biden that Putin was committing “genocide”.

In an interview with France 2 on April 13, he said he wanted to “be careful” and prevent “escalation”.

He said: “So far, it has been established that war crimes were committed by the Russian army and that it is now necessary to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I am very careful with some terms [genocide] these days. I’m not sure the escalation of words is helping the cause right now.”





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