Macron to European leaders: Russia must not win

2024-02-27 07:35:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Macron to European leaders: Russia must not win

French President Emmanuel Macron told European counterparts on Monday that they must guarantee their collective security by offering unwavering support to Ukraine, in the face of Russia's fiercest offensives on the battlefield in recent months.

"We are in the process of guaranteeing our collective security, for today and for tomorrow," said Mr. Macron as he hosted 20 heads of European governments and states, as well as other Western officials in Paris, as a sign of unity for Ukraine, while the frontal attack of Russia enters its third year.

"Russia cannot and must not win that war," Mr Macron said at the meeting at the presidential palace, attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Polish President Andrzej Duda and other leaders from the Baltic states.

"Over the last few months in particular, we've seen Russia become tougher," Mr Macron said. "We also know that Russia is preparing new attacks, in particular to shock Ukrainian public opinion."

Mr. Macron cited the need to strengthen security to avoid further Russian attacks on other countries in the future. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as the much larger country of Poland, have been considered among the possible targets of future Russian expansionism. All four of these countries are staunch supporters of Ukraine. Estonia's foreign minister said earlier this month that NATO has about three to four years to strengthen its defenses.

In a video-broadcast speech, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on leaders gathered in Paris to "make sure that Putin cannot destroy our achievements and expand his aggression towards other countries".

A senior French official said the conference is not aimed at reaching new commitments in terms of arms shipments and financial aid, but better coordination of support for Kiev and to ensure that commitments made to help. The French official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United States was represented at the Paris meeting by the chief diplomat for Europe, James O'Brien, and Britain by the Foreign Secretary, David Cameron.

European countries are worried that the United States will cut support, while aid to Kiev is pending in Congress. They also worry that a return of former President Donald Trump to the White House could change the course of US policy in Europe.

The Paris conference comes after France, Germany and Britain recently signed a 10-year bilateral agreement with Ukraine, aimed at giving a strong signal of long-term support, as Kiev works to increase Western support./ VOA

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