Emmanuel Macron warns Putin against Ukraine invasion
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International politics expert Ian Shields said Emmanuel Macron was too focused on “domestic politics” to join the US and UK in showing force against Moscow aggression. France has adopted a diplomacy-focused strategy to tackle the ongoing threat of war in Ukraine by offering talks with Russia.
Mr Macron’s approach has deterred efforts by US and NATO to show a strong and united front against Mr Putin.
When asked about Mr Macron’s approach, which is at odds with Britain and the US, Mr Shields told Express.co.uk: “France is still hacked off with Britain and the US and the US over its deal with Australia and the sale of nuclear submarines.
“Macron is still umming and ahhing over whether or not he will stand in the French presidential elections.
“He’s got domestic politics to think of and that is at the very heart of the EU and European/NATO response which is hugely divided.”
Russia has massed some 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and is demanding sweeping security guarantees from the West including a pledge that Ukraine never is allowed to join the alliance.
But Mr Putin denies he plans to invade Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has repeated Moscow’s line that the crisis was being driven by US and NATO actions, not the Russian troop build-up.
In response, western countries have threatened crippling economic sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine.
Following speculation France and Germany were offering a softer line towards Moscow, Mr Macron insisted the West was “totally united”.
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He said: “We call for a de-escalation of tensions and I want to also say how united Germany and France are on this subject.
“If there is an attack, there will be retaliation and the price will be very high.
“We are preparing in parallel a joint reaction and the response in case of aggression.”
He said that US-Russia talks over Ukraine were a “good thing” but that they were yet to show any clear results.
While German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended Germany’s record on supporting Ukraine as he responded to criticism of Berlin’s refusal to follow other Western countries in sending Kyiv lethal weapons to defend itself against a possible invasion.
He added: ”We have done a great deal to actively support economic development and democratic development in Ukraine.
“We feel responsible, for example, for ensuring that Ukraine remains a (gas) transit country.
“Ukraine knows it can rely on Germany.”
The EU depends on Russia for around a third of its gas supplies.
Any interruptions to its Russian imports would exacerbate an existing energy crisis caused by shortages.
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