While deciding on a future path, NATO will also have to address Moscow’s concerns, French leader says
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that NATO should weigh in on possible guarantees for Russia’s security in settling the conflict in Ukraine. Macron is the EU country’s second leader this week to openly discuss Europe’s future relationship with Russia.
In an interview with French networks TF1 and LCI, Macron described his meeting with US President Joe Biden this week as a “Hit,” adding that the two leaders had started discussing what “the peace” after the current conflict would look like.
Macron acknowledged Russian President Vladimir Putin’s concern “NATO will deploy weapons that will threaten Russia,” and said members of the US-led alliance “need to prepare” to offer “Guarantees of the security of the Russian Federation” when Moscow joins kyiv and the West at the negotiating table.
However, as Macron focused on the peace settlement, he pledged to “do the best” to reinforce the kyiv army in the meantime.
Ukraine abruptly pulled out of talks with Russia in April. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has since banned negotiations with Moscow and declared his intention to seize the Russian territory of Crimea. While the Russian Foreign Ministry says it remains open to resuming negotiations with Kyiv, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in October that other parties will need to be involved because any deal between Ukraine and Russia would be “instantly canceled on orders” from West.
Macron is not the only leader of an EU country to publicly discuss a possible post-conflict arrangement in recent days. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told the Berlin Security Forum on Wednesday that while his country would likely never return to its pre-2022 state “Partnership” with Russia, Germany would be willing to discuss arms control and missile deployment treaties with Moscow in the future.
Such agreements, he said, formed “the basis of the order of peace and security” in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
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Like Macron, however, Scholz promised to continue supplying arms to Ukraine. “as long as it takes” a phrase both leaders, as well as Biden, have frequently used to refer to their multi-billion dollar arms shipments to Kyiv. Russia has repeatedly warned that these deliveries risk prolonging the conflict, while making the West a de facto participant.
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