Macron “showed no weakness” before Putin when talking about Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron “did not show weakness” before his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, when they met in Moscow on Monday to discuss the Ukrainian crisis, a source from the Elysee assured on Wednesday.
Criticized for his position towards the Russian leader, branded lukewarm by many, the source asserted that Macron is “perfectly aligned” with Germany, whose chancellor, Olaf Scholz, publicly hardened his position towards the Kremlin, after having met in Washington also on Monday with US President Joe Biden.
According to the French Presidency, “there is no weakness on the part of Macron in relation to Russia. It is enough to remember what Putin said after the meeting: that Macron had insisted a lot” to achieve concrete commitments during the five-hour meeting held in Moscow.
Likewise, the Elysee denied that Ukraine had been “pressured” to force a negotiation that would lead to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, signed by Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany in 2014 and 2015, to end the clashes. armed in the Ukrainian zone of Donbas.
“It is not about putting pressure on Ukraine, but about implementing the Minsk Agreements in conditions with sufficient political security (…) It is about respecting the full sovereignty of Ukraine,” the source argued, in relation to the suspicions that these agreements can generate in Kyiv.
The Elysee stressed that among the specific commitments that Macron obtained from Putin is not to reinforce Russian military means on the border – there are already 125,000 soldiers deployed -, to avoid “threats or incursions” into Ukrainian territory and to promote the so-called Normandy group, made up of Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany.
Regarding the United States, whose position regarding Putin is firmer than that of Europe, France has “fluid communication,” the diplomatic source assured.
A meeting with the leader of Belarus -a privileged partner of Moscow and in border tension with Poland-, Alexandr Lukashenko, is not planned, although not ruled out.