Macron: We should have listened to the Eastern leaders about Russia

2023-05-31 20:59:49, Kosova & Bota CNA
Macron: We should have listened to the Eastern leaders about Russia
French President Emmanuel Macron

President Emmanuel Macron admitted on Wednesday that France should have paid more attention to Eastern European countries, which warned of a belligerent Russia before Moscow's forces invaded Ukraine.

Mr Macron told a security forum that there should be no division between "Old Europe" and "New Europe", referring to ongoing divergences between eastern and western European Union members over issues such as Russia.

"Some said we had missed an opportunity not to speak. I think we also missed an opportunity to listen to you. That time is over," Mr Macron said to applause during a speech at the GLOBSEC institute in the Slovak capital, Bratislava.

He was referring to a speech in 2003 by then-French President Jacques Chirac, who said that Eastern European countries that sided with the United States and Britain in their decision to intervene in Iraq that year, and that was opposed by several major Western allies, including France and Germany, had missed a "good opportunity not to speak out".

The declaration shocked eastern European countries and contributed to a lingering distrust of Paris by the EU's newest members, which has resurfaced since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

After the invasion, eastern EU countries such as Poland criticized Mr Macron for keeping communication channels open with Russian President Vladimir Putin, or for declaring that Russia should not be "humiliated" during international efforts to end the conflict. in Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Mr Macron also said that Europe should build its own defense industry and not rely solely on the United States for defence, although he acknowledged that the US contribution of funds and materials had been crucial to forming a front. credible against Russia.

"Let's be grateful and say thank you to the United States. But will we have this administration forever?" Mr Macron asked. "This is why a pillar of European defense in NATO is indispensable."

The United States holds presidential elections in November 2024, while one of the candidates is Mr. Donald Trump, who, when he was president, said that European nations should pay more for their defense.

Mr Macron said Russia faced problems as a result of the war in Ukraine, including Finland's accession to NATO and a loss of legitimacy on the global stage.

"The war is far from over, but one thing is clear: Ukraine will not be conquered. We can see that what started as a 'special operation' is now a geopolitical failure," said President Macron./ VOA

Lajmet e fundit nga