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UKRAINE

Macron vows response ‘without weakness’ to Russian invasion of Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday warned Russia of an uncompromising response to its attack on Ukraine, which he described as a turning point in European history.

Macron vows response 'without weakness' to Russian invasion of Ukraine
French president Emmanuel Macron, standing in front of a Ukrainian flag, addresses the nation on Thursday. Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP

“We will respond without weakness to this act of war, with calm, determination and unity,” Macron said in an address to the nation, adding that the events were a “turning point in the history of Europe and our country” that would have “deep and lasting consequences for our lives.”

Standing in front of a Ukrainian flag alongside the usual French and EU flags, he added that the events were a “turning point in the history of Europe and our country” that would have “deep and lasting consequences for our lives”.

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Decisions would be taken at meetings of the G7, EU and NATO in the next hours, he said, adding that the sanctions agreed against Russia would be “up to” the scale of the aggression Moscow had launched.

“In the military, economic and energy domains we will be without weakness,” he said.

Macron had repeatedly spoken to President Vladimir Putin seeking a diplomatic solution to the standoff but to no avail. After frenetic telephone talks at the weekend, he has not spoken to the Russian leader since Putin on Monday recognised two Ukrainian breakaway regions as independent.

Macron said that the “massive” Russian attack on Ukraine was “contrary to all the commitments made by the Russian authorities”.

“By going back on his word and refusing the diplomatic path and choosing war, President Putin not only decided to attack Ukraine, he decided to tarnish the whole sovereignty of Ukraine,” said Macron.

“He decided to inflict the most significant damage on peace and stability in Europe for decades,” Macron added.

Member comments

  1. So, what military contribution has France made to Ukraine. Warm words don’t shoot down planes or destroy tanks.

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POLITICS

Macron says it will be ‘decades’ before Ukraine joins EU

France's President Emmanuel Macron said Monday it would take "decades" for a candidate like Ukraine to join the EU, and suggested building a broader political community of democratic states around the bloc.

Macron says it will be 'decades' before Ukraine joins EU

“Even if we gave them candidate status tomorrow,” he said of Ukraine, “we all know perfectly well that the process of allowing them to join would take several years, in truth doubtless several decades.”

But, noting the urgence of giving Ukraine and other EU hopefuls like Moldova and Georgia a place in the heart of Europe, he called for the creation of “European political community”.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February, in part to thwart Kyiv’s tilt towards integration with the EU and NATO, and Georgia and Moldova are also partly occupied by Moscow’s troops.

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