Macron says he will continue to communicate with Putin despite ‘unforgettable war’ – POLITICO

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned Vladimir Putin’s “flawed war” against Ukraine but said he would keep lines of communication open with the Russian president to try to convince him to stop the attack. his deadly military.

“Alone and in a deliberate, refreshing way [his previous] committed… President Putin chose war,” the French president said in a televised address Wednesday night.

Addressing a domestic audience, Macron made a point of countering Putin’s false narrative that the war was a defensive move against NATO’s eastern expansion.

“This war is not a conflict between NATO and the West on the one hand, and Russia on the other… there are no NATO troops or bases in Ukraine. These are lies,” said Macron. “Russia isn’t invaded, it’s the aggressor.”

Some of Macron’s opponents in the campaign ahead of April’s presidential election have so far argued that Putin is justified in his grievances.

Smashing into Putin’s “intolerable propaganda,” Macron also said the war was not “a war against Nazism. It’s a lie. An insult to the history of Russia and Ukraine, to the memory of our elders who fought side by side against Nazi Germany. ”

While strongly condemning Putin’s actions, the French president said he would keep an open line of communication with the Kremlin in an effort to prevent the spread of conflict.

“I have chosen to stay in touch as much as possible and as much as possible with President Putin to try to convince him to give up his arm… and prevent the spread and expansion of the conflict.”

Macron also sought to make a difference between the Russian President and the Russian people.

“We are not at war with Russia,” the French president said. “We today stand with all those Russians who refuse to wage a brutal war on their behalf, with a sense of responsibility and courage to defend peace.”

Call for European Defense

The French president called on Europe to invest more in its security, repeating his longstanding position that the continent needs to strengthen its defense and strategic capabilities.

“Europe needs to accept the price of peace,” Macron said.

“We cannot let others defend us; whether on land, at sea, under the sea, in the air, in space or in cyberspace,” Macron said.

“Our European defense must take a new step. On March 10 and 11 in Versailles, I will be bringing together European heads of state and governments for a summit meeting to decide on these issues,” he said, referring to a high-level meeting planned under the flag of France the rotating presidency of the EU Council.

“Europe has shown unity and determination, it has entered a new era. We have to move on,” he added. Macron says he will continue to communicate with Putin despite 'unforgettable war' - POLITICO

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