Ukraine war: Russia must be defeated but not crushed, Macron sayson February 19, 2023 at 1:28 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The French president reaffirms support for Kyiv but hints that talks with Russia are a final goal.

Emmanuel Macron speaking at the Munich security conferenceImage source, EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he does not want to see Russia crushed by a defeat in Ukraine.

Speaking to French media, Mr Macron urged Western nations to increase military support for Kyiv and said he was prepared for a protracted war.

“I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position,” he said.

But he hit out against those who he said wanted to extend the war to Russia itself in a bid to “crush” the nation.

The comments came as world leaders gathered at the Munich Security Conference, which saw promises to speed up the supply of weapons to Kyiv and impose tougher sanctions on Moscow.

“I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil,” Mr Macron told the paper Le Journal du Dimanche.

“Those observers want to, above all else, crush Russia. That has never been the position of France and it will never be our position.”

Addressing the conference in Munich on Friday, Mr Macron insisted that now was not the time for dialogue with Moscow.

But he did not shy away from mentioning peace talks as a final goal.

The president suggested that Ukrainian military efforts, supported by allies, were the only way to “bring Russia back to the table and build a lasting peace”.

He also dismissed the prospect of regime change in Russia, describing similar efforts around the world as a “total failure”.

Despite Mr Macron’s comments, negotiations are a faraway prospect for Ukraine’s leaders.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the decision to not invite Moscow to the Munich conference.

Russian leaders should not be invited to the table as long as the “terrorist state kills, as long as it uses bombs, missiles and tanks as an argument for international politics”, he said.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out immediate talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, insisting there was “no trust” between the parties. In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, he also dismissed the idea of giving up territory to strike a peace deal with Moscow.

Mr Macron has previously been criticised by some Nato allies for sending what they believe are mixed messages on Ukraine.

Last June, he was condemned by Mr Kuleba for saying it was vital that Russia was not “humiliated over its invasion”.

Mr Kuleba at the time responded that Russia – which was “humiliating itself” – needed to be put in its place.

- Advertisement -

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Big Butterfly Count: People asked to join in to help address extinctionon July 15, 2022 at 3:47 am

Conservationists says two-fifths of British species are under threat.Conservationists says two-fifths of British species are under threat.

Robert Page: Wales manager signs new contract before 2022 World Cup in Qataron September 12, 2022 at 11:02 pm

Wales manager Robert Page signs a new four-year contract as he prepares to lead his country to a first World Cup since 1958.Wales manager...

737 MAX: Boeing to pay $200m over charges it misled investorson September 23, 2022 at 2:47 am

US regulators said the firm and its former boss misled investors following two fatal crashes.Image source, Getty ImagesBoeing is to pay out $200m (£177.5m)...

Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid: Jurgen Klopp vows Reds will come again after Champions League final losson May 28, 2022 at 11:12 pm

Liverpool fans are told to "book the hotel" for next year's Champions League final in Istanbul by Reds manager Jurgen Klopp.

World Aquatics Championships: US artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez rescued by coach after fainting in poolon June 23, 2022 at 5:57 am

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez is rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach after fainting at the World Aquatics Championships.American artistic...