Europe

Macron says security guarantees for Russia are ‘essential’ part of peace talks

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The last of these demands was a clear reference to the Budapest Memorandum, signed in 1994. Under the agreement, Russia was among the states that guaranteed “the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine within the existing borders” by exchange for Ukraine giving up its nuclear arsenal, but it has since been ignored by Mr Putin.

Since 2019, when he declared the need to reinvent “a security architecture” between the European Union and Russia, Mr Macron has insisted on the need to draw Russia into a new “order of stability” in Europe .

Although he strongly condemned Mr. Putin’s “imperial” invasion, Mr. Macron was apparently unconvinced to reconsider the feasibility of a possible Russian integration into a European security apparatus.

Responding to a TASS tweet containing Mr Macron’s remarks, Nicolas Tenzer, a prominent French political scientist and essayist, commented: “Devastating”.

Dr. Alina Polyakova, president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington-based research institute, commented on Mr. Tenzer’s tweet saying: “You know you are doing something terribly wrong when the state propaganda of the Kremlin praises you. It seems that no matter how brutal Putin is, Macron cannot let go of his misguided view.

Mr. Macron’s approach to Russia arouses deep suspicion in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and other European Union and NATO states that were once under Soviet totalitarian rule. This undermined his aspirations for European leadership.

On February 8, shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine, Mr. Putin made three demands during a joint press conference with Mr. Macron in Moscow. These were: the end of NATO enlargement; no deployment of missiles near Russia’s borders; and a reduction of NATO’s military infrastructure in Europe to its 1997 level, before the Baltic and Central European states previously controlled by Moscow joined the alliance.

The United States at the time dismissed Russian demands as “non-starter”, but Mr Macron appears to have a more nuanced view.

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nytimes Eur

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