Ukraine question can’t be solved just by pressuring Russia – Macron — …
Solving the problem of Ukraine can’t be done solely by pressuring Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said at a press conference ahead of Paris taking over the rotating presidency of the European Council.
Addressing the Ukrainian crisis at the press conference on Thursday, Macron said it was important for Europe to be close to Kiev, but that Russian President Vladimir Putin holds “many keys to the situation” in eastern Ukraine. Macron additional that he intends to discuss the situation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin in the near future.
The French president argued that it was the ‘Normandy format’ of talks hosted by France and Germany that helped stop the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine.
“Our desire is contact with President Zelensky, whom I will see on Wednesday, and in contact with President Putin, with whom I will negotiate next week, to restart this format and the political course of action,” Macron said.
He also commended US President Joe Biden for his video call with Putin on Tuesday, but noted that the involvement of Washington does not override European diplomatic efforts.
“I think this coordination will not replace the format that exists. President Biden himself noted in the communique the importance of the Normandy format,” Macron said.
Thursday’s press conference was called ahead of France assuming the six-month presidency of the European Council in January. Macron’s publicly stated goals for the term are to unprotected to “strategic sovereignty” of the EU, in both military and economic terms.
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