French President Emmanuel Macron stated that it is critical that Russia not be humiliated so that when the violence in Ukraine ceases, a diplomatic solution can be found, and that Paris will play a mediation role to end the crisis.
Since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Macron has pushed to retain contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin. His approach has been consistently criticized by some of Europe’s eastern and Baltic countries, who view it as hindering attempts to get Putin to the bargaining table.
“We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means,” Macron said in an interview to regional newspapers published on Saturday. “I am convinced that it is France’s role to be a mediating power.”
Macron has talked with Putin on a frequent basis since the invasion, as part of efforts to negotiate a truce and launch a genuine talks between Kiev and Moscow.
“I believe, as I have warned him, that he is committing a historic and profound error for his country, himself, and history,” Macron added.
France has provided military and financial help to Ukraine, but Macron has yet to visit Kyiv to give symbolic political backing, as other EU leaders have done, which Ukraine has requested. Macron stated that he had not ruled out traveling.
Paris provides offensive armaments, including a Caesar artillery cannon from the French army. Macron stated that he has instructed weapon makers to speed up manufacturing.