PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron defended his continued diplomatic efforts and phone calls to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine, slamming criticism of his efforts as “mistaken morality.”
Chatting with French ambassadors gathered on the Elysée Palace on Thursday, Macron questioned the choice in western capitals to shut strains of communication with the Kremlin.
“The job of a diplomat is to speak to everyone and notably to the individuals we disagree with,” he mentioned at his yearly handle on international coverage. “Who desires Turkey to be the one world energy that’s speaking to Russia? … We should not give in to any type of mistaken morality that will search to weaken us.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has a troublesome relationship with Macron, has been in search of to solid himself as a mediator over the Ukraine battle, assembly each Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Macron has remained dedicated to his diplomatic efforts with Russia and spoke to the Russian president on August 19, following a interval of silence. The dialog targeted on security on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant.
The French president’s endeavors got here underneath hearth from NATO allies, notably in Jap Europe, who questioned the utility of his conversations with Putin. Macron’s feedback that Russia “shouldn’t be humiliated” to organize for a future diplomatic exit ramp additionally sparked a wave of condemnation and raised suspicions he was keen to make concessions to Russia. The Elysée has repeatedly denied such claims.
Throughout his speech on Thursday, Macron slammed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an “imperialist” battle and insisted “Russia can’t be allowed to win the battle.”
“We need to work in the direction of both a victory for Ukraine or a negotiated peace reached with circumstances which might be acceptable to Ukraine,” he mentioned.
One of many important threads of Macron’s wide-ranging international affairs speech to ambassadors was that the world was more and more susceptible to turning into divided into totally different blocs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.
“We now have by no means been depending on any world energy. We now have at all times saved our independence. However now will we be pressured to decide on?” he requested.
Macron argued in favor of sustaining French and European “independence” within the confrontation between the U.S. and China, as a way to proceed discussions on local weather change and regional points.
“[Independence] doesn’t imply equal remedy. The U.S. are our allies. However we don’t need to depend upon them,” he mentioned.
He additionally cautioned in opposition to letting splits emerge amongst EU members within the face of the Russian aggression and amid warnings the power disaster and rising inflation might result in divisions.
“We should not let Europe be divided by this battle. European unity is vital. The division of Europe was one in every of Russia’s goal of the battle,” he mentioned.