France’s Macron engineers new diplomatic push for Ukraine

Dec 11, 2022, 7:58 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2022, 10:03 am
FILE - French President Emmanuel Macron, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zele...

FILE - French President Emmanuel Macron, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Mariyinsky Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine, June 16, 2022. Emmanuel Macron is hosting Tuesday Dec. 13, 2022, in Paris an international conference meant to help Ukraine make it through winter. On the longer term, he insists talks with Russia will be needed to find a path to peace. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)

PARIS (AP) — Emmanuel Macron calls it “combat diplomacy.” The French president has vowed to make every effort to support Ukraine — including by hosting an international conference Tuesday meant to help the country make it through winter.

In the longer term, he believes talks with Russia will be needed to find a path to peace.

Tuesday’s international donors conference in Paris is intended to provide Kyiv with some immediate aid, both in financing and equipment. It comes in response to Russian war operations in recent weeks that have focused on civilian infrastructure and are aimed at “making the civilian population lose hope,” according to Macron.

The French president has been championing tougher sanctions against Moscow Since the war began and has stayed in regular touch with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

On Sunday, the pair spoke by phone to prepare the Paris conference that will gather the representatives of dozens of countries and focus on priority needs, including access to electricity, heating and water.

Yet Macron has also been criticized in recent months by Ukraine and some other European countries who feel he has not kept sufficient distance from the Kremlin.

Macron is one of the few Western leaders to have maintained contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as part of a long-term geopolitical strategy.

He has repeatedly said he would talk to Putin whenever it was required to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

Most recently, he said he would soon speak to him about the security of Ukrainian nuclear plants, especially the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant which is Europe’s biggest.

Ultimately, there will be a need for negotiations with Russia, Macron says. He has also insisted that the terms of any talks must be decided by the Ukrainian themselves.

The French leader’s latest remarks on the issue earlier this month prompted criticism in Kyiv and the Baltic states.

Macron said on French television TF1 that the West should ready for possible talks to end the war and seek a deal that would include “how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.”

Critics say it is Ukraine that needs security guarantees, not Russia.

First elected in 2017, Macron has sought to play a key role in global diplomacy.

In April, he was reelected for a second term, bolstering his standing as an influential player in Europe.

Macron also held the rotating presidency of the European Union during the first half of this year. He largely focused his efforts on boosting the EU’s defense capacity, because the security of the bloc’s 27 member countries is still largely dependent on the U.S. and NATO.

France has provided significant humanitarian, financial and military aid to Ukraine since Russia invaded its neighbor last February. The French government also sent its troops to bolster Europe’s defenses on its eastern flank.

Macron launched in October the European Political Community, a new forum aimed at boosting security and prosperity across the continent, bringing together existing EU members, aspiring partners in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, as well as Britain and Turkey.

He continued his diplomatic activism during his recent state visit to the U.S, where he spoke at length with President Joe Biden about the situation in Ukraine.

Biden voiced his support for the Paris donors’ conference while indicating he would be willing to talk with Putin if the Russian leader demonstrated that he seriously wanted to end the war.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - An electronic sign flashes "Watch for unexpected pedestrians," Dec. 20, 2022, on the highway...
Associated Press

Supreme Court might have easy outs on elections, immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court soon could find itself with easy ways out of two high-profile cases involving immigration and elections, if indeed the justices are looking to avoid potentially messy, divisive decisions. Off-ramps in those cases could prove attractive in a term with no shortage of big cases that could divide the court’s […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Swedish central bank again raises key rate to hit inflation

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden’s central bank on Thursday raised a key interest rate by half a percentage point, saying inflation “is far too high and has continued to rise.” Riksbanken has followed other central banks around the world by enacting large interest rate hikes to tamp down price spikes that have consumers paying more for […]
1 day ago
FILE - Grey clouds cover the sky over a building of the Credit Suisse bank in Zurich, Switzerland, ...
Associated Press

Credit Suisse posts $1.4B pre-tax loss as woes go on in 4Q

GENEVA (AP) — Credit Suisse on Thursday reported a pre-tax loss of more than 1.3 billion Swiss francs (about $1.4 billion) in the fourth quarter of last year, as its new managers vie to right the top-drawer Swiss bank that has faced a string of setbacks in recent years. The bank also announced the $175 […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

3 dead in apartment building fire in Novosibirsk, Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — A gas explosion in an apartment building in the south-central Russian city of Novosibirsk Thursday morning killed three people, according to the latest reports from local authorities. Novosibirsk is the administrative capital of Siberia and Russia’s third-largest city by population. Regional Gov. Andrey Travnikov confirmed the deaths of three people, noting that […]
1 day ago
FILE - A staff of Nissan car showroom wipes a car on Jan. 31, 2022, in Tokyo. Nissan reported a 55%...
Associated Press

Japan’s Nissan reports better profit as chip crunch eases

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan reported a 55% jump in its October-December profit Thursday, as the Japanese automaker gears up for a less bumpy journey with its French alliance partner Renault. Profit for the quarter at Yokohama-based Nissan Motor Co. totaled 50.6 billion yen ($386 million), up from 32.7 billion yen in the previous year. Quarterly […]
1 day ago
Search teams and emergency aid from around the world are pouring into
Turkey and Syria as rescuers ...
Associated Press

Afghan women, children chase false rumor to Kabul airport

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Hundreds of Afghans, including women and children, dashed toward the Kabul airport after a false rumor spread that flights were leaving for Turkey to help rescue earthquake victims. Videos and photos posted on social media since Wednesday showed dozens of desperate people running on foot in the darkness and cold towards the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
France’s Macron engineers new diplomatic push for Ukraine