Paris (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron said dialogue with Russia is essential, but a “clear red line” with possible sanctions must also be drawn with Moscow over Ukraine.
Macron mentioned the recent buildup of Russian troops at the Ukrainian border and said in an interview with US broadcaster CBS News that he would “never accept new military operations in Ukraine.” He said the West must show diplomacy and credibility in pointing out that point.
“And I think we certainly have to impose sanctions after unacceptable behavior,” Macron said when asked about possible sanctions. “And I think we need to define a clear red line with Russia. This is the only reliable way.”
But he added, “I don’t think sanctions are enough on their own, but sanctions are part of the package.”
The interview aired on Sunday on “Face the Nation.” Recorded after Macron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris on Friday and the two held a virtual meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Macron and Merkel demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops concentrated in western Russia amid heightened tensions with neighboring Ukraine.
The United States and NATO say this accumulation is the largest since 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and a battle broke out between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. .. More than 14,000 people have died in a seven-year conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Germany and France helped negotiate a 2015 peace agreement in eastern Ukraine in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Since taking office in 2017, Macron has been engaged in constructive dialogue with Russia on various issues. He continued to promote the need for dialogue in an interview with “Face the Nation.”
“I am confident that President Putin (Vladimir) is ready to resume the dialogue,” said a French leader. “We need a frank and candid dialogue with Russia” on many topics, from arms control to stabilizing the world crisis.