According to Zelensky, Macron’s attempts to find an “off-ramp” for Russia are futile. Until Russia realizes it needs an out, it won’t be looking for reasonable ways to end the war.
“Maybe, Emmanuel (Macron) knows more (than I do); I know he wanted to achieve something by mediating between us (Ukraine and Russia), but he failed; failed not because of our position, but Russia’s,” said Zelensky.
“It’s inappropriate for world leaders to suggest I should make certain sacrifices in terms of Ukraine’s sovereignty, in order to allow Putin to save face.”
The president added that Ukraine “isn’t prepared to save someone’s something by ceding territory.”
“I think it’s completely unjustified; it’s a waste of time,” Zelensky said.
He reiterated that Russia’s contempt for any compromises in its favor was made apparent by the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
“Emmanuel (Macron) should refrain from making certain diplomatic gestures; I welcomed his (recent) re-election,” the President said.
“History, however, does not forgive sidesteps; if you seek to take back what’s yours, there is only one way to go – forward.”
Macron had several lengthy phone calls with his Russian counterpart in the opening weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. After a month-long pause, the French and Russian presidents spoke on May 3, with Macron pleading with Putin to allow the evacuation of Ukrainians trapped in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel mill.
In April, Macron described Russia’s conduct in Ukraine as war crimes, but stopped short of calling it genocide, and said that Russians and Ukrainians are “brotherly” people.
At the same time, the French president supports arming Ukraine and imposing further sanctions on Moscow.