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UKRAINE

‘This war will last,’ warns France’s President Macron on Ukraine

The world must brace for a long war between Russia and Ukraine after Moscow launched an invasion of its pro-Western neighbour, French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Saturday.

'This war will last,' warns France's President Macron on Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron claims Russia's invasion of Ukraine will be a long war. (Photo by JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP)

“I can tell you one thing this morning it is that this war will last,” Macron’s told France’s annual agriculture fair.

“This crisis will last, this war will last and all the crises that come with it will have lasting consequences,” Macron added, warning: “We must be prepared”.

Macron cut short his visit to the agriculture fair, usually one of the main fixtures on the French political calendar, in order to return to dealing with the crisis triggered by the Russian invasion.

READ MORE: How life in France could be impacted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine

“War has returned to Europe, this was chosen unilaterally by President (Vladimir) Putin, with a tragic humanitarian situation, a (Ukrainian) people who are resisting and a Europe that is there and resisting by the side of the Ukrainian people,” said Macron.

Macron has again called an emergency defence council of top ministers and military security officials to discuss the situation in Ukraine which will take place at 4pm UK time, the Elysee said.

With the war and sanctions against Russia risking damage for specific sectors in France, notably the wine industry, Macron vowed a “plan of resilience” to help them cope.

The French leader was a key figure in efforts to avert conflict, repeatedly speaking to Putin and seeking in vain to broker a summit between the Russian leader and US President Joe Biden.

The war has also broken out as the clock ticks down to France’s presidential elections in April.

READ ALSO: Solidarity, sanctions or NATO-blaming: What French presidential candidates say about Ukraine

Macron, who is expected to seek and win a second term, has left the official declaration of his candidacy to the last minute, although he must make a move next week ahead of a March 4th deadline to register.

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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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