Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that he would continue his war in Ukraine undeterred by international condemnation, forcing an Élysée official to conclude: “We assume the worst is yet to come.”
Paris says Putin initiated it An hour-and-a-half exchange, but then “didn’t make any specific recommendations to Macron.” Instead, the Russian leader insisted there will be “continuity in the conflict at the pace he desires.”
Without providing evidence, Putin alleged Ukrainian war crimes and said Kyiv uses human shields and behaves “like Nazis,” the official said. Ukraine and an increasingly united Western alliance say Moscow is now resorting to blatant lies to justify a war to rebuild a Russian empire.
As the Russian military bombardment of Ukraine continues, the French official said there was no end in sight.
“Putin said the operations were based on Ukrainians’ refusal to implement the Minsk agreements […] the denazification of Ukraine, and that westerners have a huge responsibility in all of this,” the official said, adding that the Russian president also “denied bombing Kyiv.”
Macron then replied to Putin, according to the official, that he was “making a grave mistake,” that he was “telling stories to himself,” and that “another path is still possible.”
The West has sought to pressure Russia with a wide-ranging sanctions package targeting Russia’s business community and officials and oligarchs close to Putin.
after the call, The Elysée official told reporters that France is ready to “tighten” sanctions against Russia: “We have yet to assess and will complement the sanctions already in place.”
“Today we clearly stated that the seriousness of what is at stake requires us to step up sanctions and accept the price of sanctions,” the Elysée official said. “We cannot make President Putin think he can get Ukraine at a lower cost.”
https://www.politico.eu/article/france-ukraine-russia-macron-putin-conflict/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication "The worst is yet to come" in Ukraine, says a French official after Macron-Putin's call - POLITICO