Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for saying Russia should not be humiliated over its invasion of Ukraine.
During the widely condemned Russian invasion, Macron has joined most European leaders in supporting Ukraine, trying to balance his support with efforts to broker diplomatic relations between the two countries as the war rages on. He has also continued dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue diplomacy in a war-torn Europe.
In an interview with French media published on Saturday, Macron spoke of France’s role in the conflict as a “mediating power,” adding that he did not believe Russia needed to be humiliated until the end of the war.
“We must not humiliate Russia so that the day the fighting stops, we can use diplomatic means to build an exit ramp,” he said, adding that he had told Putin the invasion was a “historic and fundamental mistake for his people, for himself and for history.”
His comments were dismissed by Ukraine’s Kuleba, who blasted his remarks in a tweet.
“Calls to avoid humiliating Russia can only humiliate France or any other country that would demand it. Because it is Russia that is humiliating itself. We’d all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives. ” he wrote.
Macron’s comments echoed previous statements he made on Europe Day on May 9th.
“We will have to do this with Ukraine and Russia at the same table. The end of the discussion and negotiations will be determined by Ukraine and Russia. But it will not be in denial, nor in exclusion or even mutual humiliation,” he said, according to European news agency Euractiv.
Lawmakers in the United States also criticized Macron’s statement on social media on Saturday.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, tweeted that the French President was “humiliating himself.”
“Russia has already been humiliated and the French, true to their reputation, are trying to fly the white flag,” he wrote.
Rep. Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, tweeted: “This speech by Macron shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Putin and the war in Ukraine. Russia is gaining ground in Ukraine, albeit slowly. Putin thinks he’s winning. There are only two ways to stop this war. Let Ukraine lose. Or show Putin that he cannot win militarily.”
As Macron seeks to support an eventual diplomatic end to the war, world leaders have expressed conflicting views on what the end will be like.
Last month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy laid down terms for peace talks that included Russian forces leaving Ukrainian territory entirely. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said last month that only Ukraine could determine the ultimate goals of the conflict.
Ukraine’s presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said there was “no point in negotiating” with Russia until its troops are “pushed back as far as possible to Ukraine’s borders” when asked about Macron’s mediation comments on Saturday, according to Reuters.
news week has asked the French government for an opinion.
https://www.newsweek.com/ukraine-official-slams-macron-saying-russia-should-not-humiliated-1712839 Ukraine official slams Macron for saying Russia shouldn’t be humiliated