Macron urges Ukraine to ‘find solution with Russia’ as he doubles down

President Macron says Europe can’t afford to turn away from Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Ukraine to return to the negotiating table to find a diplomatic solution with Russia amid the ongoing conflict in the region.

In an interview with the BBC, Macron emphasised the importance of supporting Ukraine in resisting aggression while advocating for fair and constructive negotiations.

“I think that there is no better option than helping Ukraine to resist, to put it into a situation to have fair and good negotiations.

“And to come back at the table and find a solution with Russia but in a situation where they defend both their territory and their security,” President Macron said.

This call for diplomatic engagement is not the first time Macron has displayed openness towards finding common ground with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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In November of the previous year, Macron acknowledged the paradoxical nature of his interactions with Putin, describing the Russian leader as not unpleasant in person.

However, he also criticised the justification for the war in Ukraine.

“When you meet him like that, he’s not unpleasant. That’s the paradox. I think there is nothing to justify starting a war. Basically, he launched this war to recover territories and to extend Russia’s perimeter to the empire that once existed,” Macron said at the time, highlighting the heavy responsibility Putin had taken upon himself.

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Macron’s stance on Putin has been a subject of discussion before.

In June 2022, he urged the West not to humiliate the Russian President, stressing the need for diplomatic solutions and positioning France as a mediating power.

“We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France’s role to be a mediating power,” Macron said at the time.

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