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    Allways With You

    Russia must be defeated but not crushed, says Macron


    Feb 19, 2023

    MUNICH — French President Emmanuel Macron has said he does not want to see Russia crushed by a defeat in Ukraine.

    Speaking to French media, Macron urged Western nations to increase military support for Kyiv and said he was preparing for a protracted war.

    “I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position,” he said. But he hit out against those who he said wanted to extend the war to Russia itself in a bid to “crush” the nation.

    The comments came as world leaders gathered at the Munich Security Conference, which saw promises to speed up the supply of weapons to Kyiv and impose tougher sanctions on Moscow.

    “I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil,” Macron told the paper Le Journal du Dimanche.

    “Those observers want to, above all else, crush Russia. That has never been the position of France and it will never be our position.

    Addressing the conference in Munich on Friday, Macron insisted that now was not the time for dialogue with Moscow. But he didn’t shy away from mentioning peace talks as a final goal.

    The president suggested that Ukrainian military efforts, supported by allies, were the only way to “bring Russia back to the table and build a lasting peace”.

    He also dismissed the prospect of regime change in Russia, describing similar efforts around the world as a “total failure”.

    Despite Macron’s comments, negotiations are a faraway prospect for Ukraine’s leaders. On Friday, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed the decision not to invite Moscow to the Munich conference.

    Russian leaders should not be invited to the table as long as the “terrorist state kills, as long as it uses bombs, missiles and tanks as an argument for international politics”, he said.

    President Volodymyr Zelensky has ruled out immediate talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, insisting there was “no trust” between the parties. In an interview with the BBC earlier this week, he also dismissed the idea of ​​giving up territory to strike a peace deal with Moscow.

    Macron has previously been criticized by some NATO allies for sending what they believe are mixed messages on Ukraine.

    Last June, he was condemned by Kuleba for saying it was vital that Russia was not “humiliated over its invasion”. Kuleba responded at the time that Russia—which was “humiliating itself”—needed to be put in its place. BBC


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