PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron excluded possibility of appeasement to Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that will take place today. In Sicily on Saturday, Macron said he would make “not a single concession” to Russia on Ukraine as he and his G7 counterparts said they were prepared to strengthen sanctions against Moscow.
Macron will host the Russian president at the palace of Versailles outside Paris.
Amid the baroque splendor, Macron will use an exhibition on Russian Tsar Peter the Great at the former royal palace to try to get Franco-Russian relations off to a new start.
“I will be demanding in my exchanges with Russia,” the 39-year-old president told reporters at the end of the G7 summit on Saturday, where the Western leaders agreed to consider new measures against Moscow if the situation in Ukraine did not improve. “It is essential to talk to Russia because there are many international issues that will not be resolved without a tough exchange with the Russians,” Macron said.
Hours before the scheduled meeting the relatives of Ukrainians jailed by Russia in cases they call “political” have appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron to demand their release when he meets Vladimir Putin on Monday. In a letter published Friday, relatives and activists urged Macron to “express to Vladimir Putin our demand to free all the political hostages of the Kremlin.”
Signatories of the letter did not agree with French President’s assessment of a need for the meeting with Putin. The letter said they were “sad” that Macron was hosting Putin since his “regime oppresses Ukrainian citizens living in the territories occupied by Russia.”
(AFP, Reuters, pht)