Macron tells Ukraine to negotiate with Putin days after saying Russia should ‘not be humiliated’
Macron tells Ukraine it will have to negotiate with Putin to end war days after enraging Kiev by suggesting Russia ‘should not be humiliated’
- Emmanuel Macron said in Romania that Ukraine ‘will have to negotiate’ with Russia
- He said he will do ‘everything to stop Russia’ as he pushes for peace talks
- Macron has been criticized for trying to mediate and talk to Putin
Emmanuel Macron has ordered Ukraine to negotiate with Vladimir Putin to end the war.
The French president arrived in Romania yesterday for a three-day trip to Ukraine’s eastern neighbors, including Moldova, before possibly heading to Kiev on Thursday to visit with leaders from Germany, Italy and Romania.
“The Ukrainian president and his officials will have to negotiate with Russia,” he said today.
Emmanuel Macron has told Ukraine to negotiate with Vladimir Putin to end war (pictured in Romania today)
French leader has been criticized by Ukraine and Eastern European allies for maintaining dialogue with Putin
The French leader has been criticized by Ukraine and Eastern European allies for what they view as his ambiguous support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.
But French officials have tried to bolster public messages in recent days, as Macron appeared to be taking a tougher line with his troops.
“We will do everything we can to stop the Russian forces, help the Ukrainians and their army and continue to negotiate,” he told French and NATO troops at a military base in Romania.
Last week, Macron sparked outrage when he said Russia should be treated fairly in a negotiation process.
He said: ‘We must not humiliate Russia so that the day the fighting ends we can build an exit by diplomatic means.
A Russian soldier patrols the promenade in Berdyansk amid ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine
“I am convinced that France’s role is to be a mediating power.”
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba hit back, saying Macron’s stance “can only humiliate France.”
Macron has sought to maintain a dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow invaded Ukraine in February.
His stance has been repeatedly criticized by a number of Eastern and Baltic partners in Europe, who see it as undermining efforts to push Putin to the negotiating table.
Macron has spoken regularly with Putin since the invasion as part of efforts to reach a ceasefire and start credible negotiations between Kiev and Moscow, though he has been unable to demonstrate tangible success.
His symbolic visit to Kiev would come a day before the European Commission makes a recommendation on Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate.
The largest European countries were lukewarm about Ukraine’s membership and will discuss at a leadership summit on June 23-24.
Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meet NATO troops during their visit to Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base
“We are at a point where we (Europeans) need to send clear political signals, we Europeans, to Ukraine and its people when it stands up heroically,” Macron said, without giving details.
France leads a NATO battle group in Romania of about 800 troops, including 500 French troops in addition to others from the Netherlands and Belgium. Paris has also deployed a surface-to-air missile system.
Macron will go to Moldova later on Wednesday to support a country many fear may be involved in the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.
The focus could be on Kiev on Thursday, while diplomatic sources say European leaders could head to Ukraine’s capital.
Macron declined to comment on “logistics matters,” but said it was important to start new talks with Ukraine on military, financial matters and issues related to the country’s grain exports.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said aid should include offering Ukraine candidate status in the European Union.
“In my opinion, candidate status should be granted as soon as possible, it is a correct solution from a moral, economic and security perspective,” Iohannis said, adding that efforts have been made to find a viable solution to differences between European powers.