Macron promises to prevent Russia from winning in Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Thursday to maintain humanitarian, economic, and military aid to Ukraine and strengthen European unity to increase pressure on Russia and prevent it from winning the war there.
“We cannot let Russian troops win the war,” Macron said in a speech to French ambassadors at the Elysee Palace.
Macron set the goal of allowing Ukraine to win militarily or be left in a strong position to achieve “a negotiated peace.”
“We must be prepared for a long war,” Macron declared, adding that it would involve increasing tensions over Ukrainian nuclear plants.
He added that France strongly supported the International Atomic Energy Agency mission that arrived Thursday at the Zaporiyia plant to assess its safety. The French president indicated that he would call his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after the agency’s mission concludes.
He promised to “keep talking” with Russia despite criticism from some countries, especially in Eastern Europe, which advocates taking a tough stance toward Moscow.
“We must do everything possible to enable a negotiated peace” when Russia and Ukraine are ready for talks, he said.
Macron called on Europe to defend its freedoms and values and fight for them.
“We must not let Europe be divided” over the war in Ukraine and its consequences, Macron said, adding that the European Union must not align itself with “warmongers” or allow Eastern European countries to act on their own in support of Kiev.
In a nearly two-hour speech to outline the goals of French diplomacy in the coming year, Macron praised the position expressed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz this week in Prague, saying it corresponds fully with his own call for a stronger, independent, and sovereign Europe.