The Russian president is trying to restore the ’empire’, claims his French counterpart
Russian President Vladimir Putin is no “unpleasant” man, Emmanuel Macron has said, but that should not be an excuse for a “war” on Ukraine. The French president made the bizarre remark on Saturday during an appearance on Les Rencontres du Papotin, a TV program hosted by a group of journalists with autism.
Macron was questioned by journalists on various issues, including his ties to Putin.
“When you meet him like that, he’s not unpleasant. That’s the paradox.” Macron stated, adding “There is nothing that justifies starting a war.”
The French president also expressed his views on the roots of the Moscow-Kiev conflict, claiming that Putin’s true aim was to restore Russian power. “Empire.” However, Macron did not elaborate on exactly how the ongoing hostilities might help achieve this supposed goal.
“In short, he launched this war to recapture territories and extend the perimeter of Russia to the empire that once existed. He took a very heavy responsibility for himself, his people, of course for the people of Ukraine, and for all of us. This is how I see things’ said Macron.
The president also warned against giving in to the misconception that Russian forces were somehow about to be defeated in Ukraine. While those forces suffered certain losses, Macron claimed, Kiev’s forces were still nowhere near victory on the battlefield.
Macron has taken a somewhat ambiguous stance over the course of the ongoing conflict. He himself has repeatedly underlined the need to enter into dialogue with Russia. At the same time, Paris has followed the anti-Russian stance of the collective West and has actively supported Kiev by last week pledging a new batch of wheeled tanks for Ukrainian troops.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, 2022, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements intended to give Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to spend time and win money. “create powerful forces.”
Shortly before hostilities broke out, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join a Western military bloc. Last September, Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as the regions of Kherson and Zaporozhye, were annexed to Russia after referenda.