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Macron ‘hopes’ France won’t go to war with Russia

The French leader said that EU needs to be “ready to act” if Moscow goes “too far”

French President Emmanuel Macron has said Paris seeks to avoid any direct involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but warned that an intervention may be necessary to deter Moscow from advancing too far.

The European Union “would lose all credibility and security” if Russia were to prevail, Macron said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday, responding to a question on whether France is “going to go to war.”

“Our own future and our security is at stake in Ukraine,” the French leader argued, stressing that in addition to delivering more military equipment to Ukraine, EU nations must be “ready to act” if “the Russians are going too far.”

“So no, I hope with all my might that we won’t have to go to war,” he said, insisting that France is a “peace power.” However, France needs to continue to arm itself in order to “protect peace,” Macron continued, stressing that intervention must remain an option if the country’s interests are threatened.

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FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron.
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“We have to be dissuasive and credible towards our adversaries sometimes by telling them: ‘If you go too far and if you threaten our interests, my own security, then I do not rule out intervening’,” he said.

Macron’s comments echoed his previous non-committal statements on a potential deployment of Western troops in Ukraine. In February, the French President refused to rule out the prospect of NATO boots on the ground, claiming that the EU’s credibility “will be reduced to zero” if Ukraine is defeated. A few months later he urged EU nations to boost their military spending and arms production to reduce dependence on Washington.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum on March 1, 2024 in Antalya, Turkey
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The French president doubled down in an interview with the Economist earlier this month, calling the Kremlin the main threat to EU security and saying that keeping the option of deploying troops in Ukraine is necessary as a “wake-up call,” while defending his “strategic ambiguity” approach. 

Moscow has criticized Macron’s “dangerous talk,” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claiming that the French president may be using Russophobia and scaremongering tactics to satisfy his ambition of leading the European Union.

May 12, 2024 at 11:27AM

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