Russian-Ukrainian war: Vladimir Putin must ‘come back to the table’ for talks with Ukraine: French President Emmanuel Macron
Russian President Vladimir Putin must “come back to the table” to discuss peace in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday, adding that he believed Kyiv would have to negotiate with him at some point.
“Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine and return to the table of talks,” Macron told France 2 channel, saying he aimed to avoid a “world war”.
Asked if he would support a Ukrainian offensive to retake Crimea – annexed by Russia in 2014 in an internationally unrecognized move – Macron said that “at some point, as the conflict develops” , Russia and Ukraine “will have to come back to the table”.
“The question is whether the goals of the war will only be achieved by military means,” he said, although “it’s up to the Ukrainians to decide” what those goals should be.
When reminded that Ukraine no longer wanted to negotiate with Putin, Macron replied: “I tell you that at some point… it will be necessary. That is why I have always refused maximalist positions “.
Macron also said France would provide air defense systems to Ukraine after the wave of Russian airstrikes earlier this week which he said were aimed at “breaking Ukrainian resistance”.
“We will deliver (…) radars, systems and missiles to protect them from these attacks,” Macron said, adding that France was also negotiating to send six more Caesar mobile artillery units.
He said the war had entered “an unprecedented phase” since the weekend as “for the first time in all of Ukraine, civilians were killed…and electricity and heating installations were destroyed. been destroyed”.
“The objective of the Russians in recent days has been to break, to break the Ukrainian resistance,” Macron added.
He acknowledged that France was “unable to deliver as much as the Ukrainians are asking for. I am obliged to keep some for us to protect ourselves and our (NATO) eastern flank”.
The additional Caesar pistols were made for Denmark, but talks are underway to redirect them to Ukraine.
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