French President Emmanuel Macron believes that the return to negotiations should be part of the way to end Russia’s war against Ukraine. Ukraine must determine whether such a moment has come.
He said this during a press conference on Oct. 21 following the second day of work of the European Council in Brussels, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
When asked what France and other European partners can do to put an end to the war in Ukraine, Macron noted that this is “the most important but also the most difficult issue.”
“We are not fighting in Ukraine. We support Ukraine. We impose sanctions against Russia. But we are not taking part in this war, so it is not in our power to stop it, as we are not a party to this conflict,” the French president said.
According to Macron, for him, the achievement of this goal – ending the war – presupposes that the conditions on the ground will develop in such a way that will allow Ukrainians to believe that the time has come to return to the negotiating table.
“Why am I saying this? Because we support Ukraine, as it defends its territorial sovereignty and its borders. Therefore, we cannot say on behalf of Ukraine that this or that moment is acceptable or not,” Macron said.
“In this context, the first thing we should do is to never sever ties,” he said.
According to Macron, there are three points that must be followed.
“The first point is to continue supporting the resistance and military efforts of Ukraine and continue sanctions (against Russia). The second point is to continue talking with both the Ukrainian authorities and the Russian authorities, because at some point we will have to return to the table. The third point is to try to monitor the moment that will be acceptable to return to the table and renew the discussions. And then we have to return to the [negotiating] table, obviously, first of all, with Ukraine and Russia, but Europe and the international community should also be present there in order to build conditions for peace at this moment. This is the path we should follow,” Macron said.
At the same time, he noted that it is not in his power to create the prerequisites for this.
“They depend, first of all, on the development of the conflict on the ground, as well as on certain sovereign decisions that we must respect. But we must all do everything we can to ensure that this moment comes when it is possible. That is why I always assume the possibility of talking to both sides,” Macron said.
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