French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday defended himself from any “complacency” towards the Russian “aggressor” on Wednesday in Romania, while stressing that his Ukrainian counterpart Volodimir Zelensky should “at some point” negotiate with Moscow to end the war. in Ukraine.
Criticized in Kyiv and some Eastern European countries for his remarks inviting “don’t humiliate” Moscow to allow a diplomatic solution to the conflict, the French president on Wednesday assured Ukraine of his full support, but warned those who engage in a “verbal escalation“against Russia without assuming the concrete consequences – an entry into war.
“This visit takes place in a very serious context, that of the war of aggression waged by Russia against Ukraine”, declared Emmanuel Macron during a press conference alongside his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis on the Constanta base. , where France is at the head of a NATO battalion of 800 soldiers, including 500 French.
“We share the same condemnation without appeal from the aggressor“, he continued, expressing his pride that “under this French presidency, we managed to maintain the unity of Europeans” to support Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia.
Negotiate with Putin
However, he said, President Volodimir Zelensky will have to “at some point”, “when the fire can stop”, negotiate with Vladimir Putin to silence the guns.
“The only desirable outcome of the conflict is either a military victory for Ukraine or a discussion (…) which allows an agreement between Ukraine and Russia. So at some point we will have to talk,” argued Emanuel Macron.
“I am struck to see that there is a verbal escalation when we do not draw the consequences,” he added. “We are not at war with Russia.”
Arrived Tuesday evening in Romania, Emmanuel Macron is expected during the day in neighboring Moldova, which many fear to see drawn into the war, and could go to Kyiv on Thursday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, two diplomatic sources told Reuters.
Ukraine soon in the EU?
Emmanuel Macron took advantage of this visit to respond to criticism from the Nupes. “You will have to explain to me how coming to our soldiers is a form of contempt,” he said. “It’s fully my role, I assume”. “Our country needs clarity and serenity,” he added.
The Elysée Palace has not yet confirmed that a trip to Ukraine was on the Head of State’s program. Asked about this in Constanta, Emmanuel Macron did not provide a timetable, while saying that the Europeans are “converging to have discussions of a new nature with Ukraine”.
The European Commission is due to make known its recommendation on Friday on the status of candidate for membership of the European Union requested by Ukraine.