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Macron Thinks He Can Secure Ukraine De-Escalation

Feb. 7, 2022 (EIRNS)—French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Russia is not interested in invading Ukraine, and expressed optimism that—so long as the West is prepared to make concessions—he can secure a “de-escalation” of tensions surrounding Ukraine’s situation. Macron was meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin today in the Kremlin.

All that is so far stated about the Putin-Macron meeting is that the Russian President told journalists afterward that it was “useful, substantive and business-like, and said that some of Macron’s ideas could form a basis for further joint steps,” according to Reuters. In a joint news conference,

“Putin said that a number of Macron’s ideas concerning security were realistic and that the two would talk again once Macron had travelled to Kyiv to meet Ukraine’s leadership. ‘A number of his ideas, proposals, which are probably still too early to talk about—I think it is quite possible to make the basis of our further joint steps,’ he said. ‘We have agreed that after his trip to the Ukrainian capital, we will call each other again and exchange views on this matter.’ ”

Macron had told the French weekly Journal du Dimanche before he departed for Moscow,

“the geopolitical objective of Russia today is clearly not Ukraine, but to clarify the rules of cohabitation with NATO and the EU. An efficient and durable dialogue with Russia cannot mean the weakening of any other European state. To ensure and guarantee the security of the Baltic states, of Poland and Romania is essential and it’s a pre-established necessity. The security and the sovereignty of Ukraine or of any other European state cannot be compromised, just as it is legitimate that Russia should pose a question about its own security.”

Macron criticized the American refusal to end NATO’s controversial “open door” policy, warning, “We have to be very realistic. We will not obtain unilateral moves; it is essential to avoid a deterioration in the situation before building mechanisms and reciprocal gestures of trust.

He continued: “We Europeans have to deal with the post-Cold War situation, since we have friends, European sovereign states which built their independence 30 years ago and that still live with the memories of a traumatic relation to Russia.” But Macron insisted that “respect” is due to Russia, understanding the “contemporary traumatic experiences of that great people and that great nation.”

He concluded: “I think there is a predisposition on that part of President Putin for all of that. It is in this state of mind that I’m going to Moscow, to ... move toward a new order which our Europe deeply needs, and which is based on the sovereign equality of states.”

Macron also spoke by phone with U.S. President Joe Biden on Feb. 6, discussing “ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts” regarding Russia and Ukraine. The French President will visit Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Feb. 8.

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