Russian President Vladimir Putin must “return to the table” to discuss making peace in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday, adding that he thought Kyiv would have to negotiate with him at some point.
“Today, first of all, Vladimir Putin must stop this war, respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and come back to the table for talks,” Macron told broadcaster France 2, saying he aimed to avoid a “global war”.
Asked if he would back a Ukrainian offensive to recapture Crimea — annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move not recognised internationally — Macron said that “at some point as the conflict develops” both Russia and Ukraine “will have to come back to the table”.
“The question is whether the objectives of the war will only be reached by military means,” he said, although “it’s up to the Ukrainians to decide” what those aims should be.
When reminded that Ukraine no longer wanted to negotiate with Putin, Macron replied: “I tell you that at some point… it will be necessary. That’s why I have always refused maximalist positions.”