Paris (AP) — “Vladimir …. what is your intention?”
Four days before Putin ordered Russia to invade Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron made a final attempt to prevent the war on a key phone call revealed in a French television documentary.
Macron is trying to convince the Russian president to “calm things down” in the region in a rare public record of discussions between two global leaders. But all his proposals have reached a dead end on Putin’s side.
The French documentary “President, Europe and War” uniquely looks behind the scenes of months of diplomatic controversy in the worst crisis of Europe in decades. This was aimed at focusing on Macron while France was in control of the change of EU Presidency, but the Ukrainian War, including Macron’s follow-up to Moscow and two trips to Kieu. It was decided to capture the historic moment of.
At the meeting with Putin on February 20, the two leaders used an informal version of the word “you” to discuss each other in a very direct tone.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “is lying to you,” Putin told Macron, accusing Kieu authorities of “taking power through a bloody coup.” People were burned alive, it was a bath of blood. Zelenskyy was democratically elected in 2019. Putin appeared to refer to his own interpretation of previous events in Ukraine.
At one point, the President of France screamed a little and was visibly frustrated. “I don’t know where your lawyer learned the law,” he openly criticizes Russia’s view.
Macron can also be heard promoting a meeting between Putin and US President Joe Biden. Putin agrees in principle, but he says he needs his aides to prepare for the first meeting. Meetings are never held.
“It was like a really tough conversation between the two who were completely opposed,” said French journalist Guy Lagache, who shot and directed the film himself. He was incorporated into Elysee’s diplomatic service — exceptional access in countries where the president controls his public image and diplomatic aides are usually kept away from camera visibility.
Putin’s promise to meet Biden turned out to be a “lie,” Lagache told The Associated Press. “But if he doesn’t try to do it (negotiate a meeting), I don’t know if he will lie.”
Lagerche’s comments are the same as those of Emmanuel Macron, Macron’s best diplomatic aide, who warns Putin in a documentary that he is “always lying.”
The Russian president, who likes to publicize the achievements of his movement, concludes the debate in his own way, telling Macron that he is speaking “from Jim”.
“I wanted to play ice hockey,” he says.
On another phone, the viewer can feel the shock and horror of Zelensky, and the urgency of the moment the war begins.
“Russians, what they are doing is terrible … Now they are in Kieu, we are fighting in Kieu, Emmanuel,” Zelensky tells Macron. Macron is silent for a few seconds.
“Yes, it’s a total war,” confirms the Ukrainian leader.
It is useless for diplomatic adviser Bonne to try to call a Russian four times with a mobile phone. “They have the nerve to go to war, but they don’t have the courage to speak,” he says.
“I can feel the drama unfolding,” Lagache said when he was there and filming.
“And it turns out that politics, and above all, is about people (made) by people trying to find a solution in a very complex situation,” he added.
The documentary, released last week in France, offers scenes rarely seen on television.
Macron can be seen holding a meeting in the pit under the Elysee Palace and wearing a blue hoodie and working with his team on a presidential plane.
The film also details the work of a diplomatic adviser, from preparing Macron’s speech to sending him a text message on the phone with world leaders.
At a surreal moment just before the war, Macron’s aide was worth € 1 billion for French railroad giant Alstom by sending a last-minute handwritten note to the French president when he met Zelensky in Kieu. You can save on possible contracts.
Lagarch said he was careful not to disclose confidential information. No specific details of France’s military assistance to Ukraine can be found in the documentary.
It also does not show the argument between Macron and Zelensky after the French president made an angry comment on the Ukrainians about not humiliating Russia.
This documentary highlights the coordination of European leaders to support Ukraine and impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia.
The camera tracks Macron with German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on a train to Kieu in mid-June. Leaders said they visited Irpin near the suburbs where many civilians were killed and Macron saw signs of “war crimes.”
“It’s important to me to make sure it’s useful, keeps the conflict from spreading, Ukraine can stop it and regain control, and Europeans continue to unite,” Macron says on his way home. .. “There’s still a lot to do. It’s not over.”
Jeffrey Schaeffer from Paris contributed.
Follow AP’s war coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine