Ukraine Argues With Macron on Humiliating Russia

French president had urged leaving a path for diplomacy, which didn't impress Ukrainian official
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2022 3:30 PM CDT
Ukraine Argues With Macron on Humiliating Russia
Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba participates at a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, May 16, 2022. European Union foreign ministers on Monday will discuss current affairs and have an exchange of views on the Russian aggression against Ukraine...   (Stephanie Lecocq/Pool Photo via AP)

Ukraine's government made clear Saturday that it doesn't share French President Emmanuel Macron's concern about embarrassing Russia. "We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means," Macron had said in an interview with regional media in France, Politico reports. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba argued that in a tweet, per the Hill, saying: "Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it. Because it is Russia that humiliates itself."

Unlike the US and other allies, France has tried to stake out a position that allows Macron to negotiate with Ukraine and Russia. "I am convinced that it is France's role to be a mediating power," he said in the interview. Macron said his conversations Russian President Vladimir Putin since December over its claims to Ukraine have totaled 100 hours, per the Guardian. “I think, and I have told him, that he has made a historic and fundamental mistake for his people, for himself and for history," Macron said. "I think he isolated himself."

Macron's efforts have brought accusations more than once that he wants Ukraine to make concessions to Russia, which has repeatedly been accused of war crimes during its invasion, to secure a peace agreement. He drew objections from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for suggesting his country give up territory. Kuleba suggested a different strategy. "We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place," he said Saturday. "This will bring peace and save lives." (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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