Macron and Zelenskyj turn to “Humiliation”

(Kyiv) “We have turned the page”: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has drawn a line under the controversy that his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron had sparked by demanding that Russia “not be humiliated”.

Posted at 7:54 am

Valérie LEROUX and Benoit FINCK
Media Agency France

“The relationship with President Macron is transparent and open,” he said on Thursday in the garden of the Ukrainian Presidency alongside French President, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

The Ukrainian President preferred to welcome the fact that the four European leaders said they were ready to grant Ukraine EU candidate status “immediately”.

“It’s a historic result,” he said, hoping the 23 other EU member states will rally behind this position at the EU summit on June 23-24.

The two heads of state, who know each other well – Emmanuel Macron was one of the first to receive the former actor and then presidential candidate – showed their complicity during the visit in front of the photographers, between hugs and a firm handshake.

Paris also relativizes the tensions that have arisen. “They are on the phone without making an appointment,” stresses a French diplomatic source, who said the head of state’s comments had never been “a problem in the conversation”.

Emmanuel Macron has gotten a lot of ink flowing by urging not to give in to the “temptation” of “humiliation” towards Russia.

Caesar guns

The head of Ukraine’s diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, responded that such statements could only “humiliate” France.

The French President explained himself in detail from Kyiv and emphasized that his statements were aimed at the moment when the war was over and a new security architecture in Europe had to be negotiated.

“Today Russia is at war with Ukraine. How do you expect me to have to explain to a Ukrainian: “We must not humiliate Russia, Russia, the Russian people, not their leaders”? ‘ he started.

“Today we must win this war. France clearly supports Ukraine to win,” stressed Emmanuel Macron.

On this occasion he announced the dispatch of six more Caesar guns, the flagship of the French artillery, to the Ukraine, in addition to the twelve already deployed against the Russians.

“But at the end of this war (…) we must not make the mistakes that others have made in the past,” he emphasized in 1918, alluding to the spirit of revenge against defeated Germany.

It will then be necessary to build a “lasting peace” in Europe, in which Ukraine’s relationship with NATO, its potential neutrality, as well as war damage or the condemnation of Russian war crimes will be put on the table, we underline a French diplomatic source.

In May, the Ukrainian President also criticized his French counterpart for wanting to offer Vladimir Putin an “exit door” by offering him “concessions”.

Talk to Putin or not

No territorial concessions to Russia, no fait accompli obtained through military force: “We never did that, neither to make a few concessions nor to negotiate a few concessions,” emphasized the French President.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy also said he doubted interest in speaking like his French counterpart with Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the war in Ukraine.

“I’m not sure the President of the Russian Federation is ready to hear anything,” he said.

Mr. Macron is deeply involved in the Ukraine crisis and is one of the rare leaders to have regular exchanges with the Kremlin’s master – causing misunderstandings in Eastern Europe – and providing the link to President Zelenskyy.

“Today we clearly see that developments on the ground do not justify this,” admitted the French president as Ukrainians suffered heavy casualties in the face of attacks by Russian forces in the Donbass mining basin.

“I’m not ruling that out” on urgent matters like food security, he noted, referring to Ukrainian grain being stuck in the port of Odessa by a Russian blockade at the risk of shortages in Africa or the Middle East .

Leave a Comment