Macron says new security architecture should give guarantees for Russia


FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden stand together onstage during an official State Arrival Ceremony for President Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - The West should consider how to address Russia's need for security guarantees if President Vladimir Putin agrees to negotiations about ending the war in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said in remarks broadcast on Saturday.

In an interview with French TV station TF1 recorded during his state visit to the United States last week, Macron said Europe needs to prepare its future security architecture.

"This means that one of the essential points we must address - as President Putin has always said - is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia," Macron said.

"That topic will be part of the topics for peace, so we need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table," Macron said.

Russia and the United States have both said this week they are open to talks in principle, though U.S. President Joe Biden said he would only talk to Putin if the Kremlin chief showed he was interested in ending the war. Ukraine says negotiations are possible only if Russia stops attacking and pulls out its troops.

Many in Ukraine and the West are strongly opposed to any negotiation with Putin that would reward him with concessions after nearly 10 months of war, especially as Ukraine has driven back Russian forces from large areas in the past three months.

But Macron's remarks suggested he was sympathetic to Moscow's need for security guarantees - a demand that was the focus of intense but failed diplomacy in the run-up to the war.

On Feb. 8, just weeks before Russia's invasion, Putin said at a joint news conference with Macron in Moscow that Russia would keep trying to obtain answers from the West to its main three security demands: no more NATO enlargement; no missile deployments near its borders; and a scaling back of NATO's military infrastructure in Europe to 1997 levels.

The United States said at the time that the Russian demands were "non-starters".

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, Editing by William Maclean)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Ukrainians to get millions of LED light bulbs to ease energy shortfall
Finland says to stick with Sweden in NATO process
Armenia tells World Court Azerbaijan blockade is 'ethnic cleansing'
Kremlin-linked Russian businessman faces U.S. trial for hack-and-trade scheme
France and Italy to buy close to 700 Aster missiles
Kremlin: More Western arms for Ukraine will only lead to escalation
Indonesia finds local trader forged ingredient label in probe of cough syrup deaths
Musicians fleeing Russia find a new audience in Georgia
Suicide bombing at mosque in Pakistan kills 32, targeted police
Turkey says it could evaluate Finland NATO bid separate from Sweden

Others Also Read