Lhe tone is rising between Paris and kyiv even if the objective remains the same, to stop the war: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky criticizes Emmanuel Macron for wanting to provide an “exit door” for Vladimir Putin.
“We must not look for a way out for Russia, and Macron is doing it in vain”, he regretted in an interview with the Italian channel RAI 1, broadcast on Friday on his Telegram channel.
“I know that he wanted to obtain results in the mediation between Russia and Ukraine, but he did not have any”, he asserted, in reference to the multiple exchanges of the French president with his Russian counterpart. and himself just before the beginning of the Russian invasion in Ukraine but also since.
The French president insisted for his part, Monday in Strasbourg, on the need to “never give in to temptation or humiliation or the spirit of revenge”. A reference to the humiliation of the Germans at the end of the First World War, which led straight to Nazism and the cataclysm of the Second World War, according to the French presidency.
But these remarks were also perceived as a veiled warning to the United States, which massively helps Ukraine militarily and whose Minister of Defense, Llyod Austin, wished “to see Russia weakened” forever on the return from a trip to kyiv.
“Putin is a dictator. He doesn’t need to save face in front of anyone,” Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia, replied on Friday.
For President Zelensky, “Macron does not need to make diplomatic concessions (to Russia) now”.
The Elysée defends itself from any single rider. The Head of State “has never discussed anything with Vladimir Putin without the agreement of President Zelensky”, insists the French presidency.
“It is up to Ukraine alone to define the conditions for negotiations with Russia,” Emmanuel Macron also reiterated in his speech on the future of Europe in Strasbourg.