Ukraine: Vladimir Putin Open to “Compromise” After Meeting Emmanuel Macron
Vladimir Putin said he was ready to “compromise” and to consider French President Emmanuel Macron‘s proposals to defuse the crisis around Ukraine, while again accusing Westerners of threatening Russia.
The Russian head of state has thus drawn up his usual indictment of NATO and Ukraine, accused of threatening his country and peace on the European continent by refusing to put an end to their policies.
He said not a word of the tens of thousands of Russian soldiers still camped on the borders of Ukraine, raising fears of an invasion, even a conflict on a European scale.
Without revealing the content of the proposals discussed, Mr. Putin nevertheless said that “some of the ideas” of his French counterpart could “lay the foundations for common progress”, after more than five hours of discussions on security in Europe and the conflict. around Ukraine. He thanked him several times for this.
President Putin assured me of his readiness to commit to this logic and of his desire to maintain the stability and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Macron said.
During their joint press conference, Mr. Putin declared that he would speak to the French head of state again after his trip to Kiev on Tuesday where he will see his counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the same subjects.
– “Everything to find compromises”
“We will do everything to find compromises that can satisfy everyone,” said Vilademir Putin, assuring that neither he nor Mr. Macron want a Russia-NATO war that “would have no winner”.
According to the French presidency, these proposals concern a commitment not to take new military initiatives on both sides, the start of a dialogue, in particular on the Russian military system or even peace negotiations on the conflict in Ukraine and the start of a strategic dialogue.
The French president is the first high-profile Western leader to meet Russia’s head of state since tensions escalated in December.
The trip is part of a series of European diplomatic efforts this week and next.
On Tuesday, Mr. Macron will go to Kiev to see his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, then he will travel to Berlin to see Chancellor Olaf Scholz there. The latter will just return from Washington and will in turn be on February 14 and 15 in Kiev and Moscow.
Mr Putin, for his part, again denounced the Western refusal to give in to him on the end of NATO’s enlargement policy and the withdrawal of the Alliance’s military assets from Eastern Europe, while denying threaten Ukraine with its tens of thousands of troops on its borders.
“To say that Russia is behaving aggressively is illogical,” he said, “we are not the ones heading towards NATO borders.”
Once again, he accused Ukraine of being solely responsible for the deadlock in the peace talks in the conflict between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists, sponsored by Moscow despite denials from the Kremlin.
Russia already annexed part of Ukraine in 2014, the Crimean peninsula. Since the same year, rebels supported by Moscow have also been at war with the Ukrainian army in the east of that country.
A peace process, under Franco-German mediation, made it possible to freeze the front, but a political settlement is paralyzed. Mr. Macron wants to revive it.
After rejecting Mr. Putin’s demands in January, the West proposed discussions on Russia’s concerns, citing reciprocal visits to military sites or disarmament measures. “Positive” but “secondary” proposals, according to Moscow, which has yet to officially respond.
Americans and Europeans alike warned Russia that a new Russian attack on Ukraine would have terrible consequences for Russia, with the adoption of devastating sanctions.
Receiving Chancellor Scholz, the American president promised on Monday that an attack would mean “the end” of the strategic but controversial Russian-German gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2.
The United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have also sent military reinforcements to Europe.
US intelligence has assured that Russia has 70% of the device necessary for a large-scale offensive in Ukraine.
At the end of their meeting, the Russian president considered looking into the French president’s proposals to defuse the crisis around Ukraine, while again accusing Westerners of threatening Russia.
“Separated by a huge table, almost as big as the distance that now separates Moscow from NATO”, the Russian and French presidents tried, Monday, February 7, to “find an answer to the Ukrainian trap”, writes El País, for that Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Moscow “did not make it possible to obtain firm concessions from the Kremlin”.
— Karel Valansi (@karelvalansi) February 8, 2022
“Putin warns the West and Ukraine and casts doubt on his intentions,” sums up the New York Times.
According to American intelligence, Russia has 70% of the resources necessary for a large-scale offensive in Ukraine, and, notes The Guardian, “some analysts believe that the Kremlin, by negotiating with Western leaders, is buying time to strengthen its military posture”.
“Frene Day of Diplomacy”
The meeting between the two men “was part of a frenetic day of diplomacy in the face of the threat of a possible new war in Europe”, notes The Guardian. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was meeting Joe Biden at the White House while German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was in Kyiv, assuring the Ukrainian government of its support. Meanwhile, the United States and the European Union have been talking in Washington about how to maintain Europe’s energy supply if Russia cuts off its natural gas deliveries.
Emmanuel Macron will continue his diplomatic tour on Tuesday by going to Kiev to discuss the situation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, then he will travel to Berlin to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Ukraine: Vladimir Putin Open to "Compromise" After Meeting Emmanuel Macron - /10
Vladimir Putin said he was ready to "compromise" and to consider French President Emmanuel Macron's proposals to defuse the crisis around Ukraine, while again accusing Westerners of threatening Russia.