Macron: Ukraine Should Not Surrender to Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that any agreement to end the conflict with Russia must not be based on Russia’s terms.

French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Ukraine must not surrender to Russian demands in order to achieve lasting peace in the former Soviet republic.

Speaking on Saturday at the so-called “Summit on Peace in Ukraine” in Switzerland, Macron called for greater international involvement in efforts to end the conflict with Russia. However, Moscow was not invited to the conference, prompting the Kremlin to claim that the talks are meaningless.

“All of us are committed to building a sustainable peace,” Macron said. “Such a peace cannot be a Ukrainian capitulation. There is one aggressor and one victim.” He added that any agreement to end the fighting must restore Ukraine’s sovereignty and uphold “international rule.”

The talks in Switzerland come at a time when Russian forces are making steady progress on the battlefield against Kiev’s outnumbered and outgunned forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that Ukraine is losing at least 50,000 troops per month, while Moscow is incurring unspecified casualties at a fraction of that rate.

Nevertheless, Macron and other Western leaders have insisted that Russia must not be allowed to prevail, and they pledged to continue providing additional weaponry and economic aid to Kiev “for as long as it takes.” 

Macron has been a leading advocate for increased NATO involvement in the conflict, calling for a coalition of countries to send military trainers to Ukraine. He has also suggested that NATO members should not rule out deploying military personnel at some point. 

Russian officials have claimed that Western leaders sabotaged a tentative peace deal between Moscow and Kiev in March 2022 that would have ended the fighting just a few weeks after it began. 

US and Polish leaders were “alarmed” when they saw the 2022 draft peace deal, which was negotiated in Istanbul, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The newspaper posted three documents purported to be from the negotiations, including a treaty text proposed by the Ukrainian side.

According to the documents, Ukraine agreed under the proposal to pledge “permanent neutrality” in exchange for security guarantees from the US, UK, France, Russia and China. The plan did not sit well withUS officials, who saw it as “unilateral disarmament” by Ukraine, the report said.

Putin said on Friday that Moscow would order a ceasefire and begin peace talks if Kiev agreed to several conditions, including the cession of all five formerly Ukrainian regions that voted in referendums to become part of Russia. Zelensky immediately rejected the offer, calling it an “ultimatum.”