France's Macron calls for 'new discussions' with Ukraine

June 15, 2022 / 6:00 PM
Sharjah24 – AFP: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday called for "new in-depth discussions" with Ukraine, without confirming if he would travel this week to Kyiv as several media have reported.
"At the gates of our European Union, an unprecedented geopolitical situation is playing out," Macron said after meeting French troops stationed in Romania.

"The political context and the decisions that the European Union and several nations will have to take justify new in-depth discussions and new progress."

"We, the European Union, need to send clear political signals to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, who have been resisting heroically for several months," said Macron, speaking alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

He added the discussion should be "of a new nature", including on military equipment, financing and unblocking shipments of Ukraine wheat affected by the war.

"At some point, when we will have helped the resistance to the maximum, when -- I hope -- Ukraine will have won, and especially when guns can go quiet, we will have to negotiate," Macron added.

"The Ukrainian president and its leaders will have to negotiate with Russia. We will be -- us Europeans -- around that table," the French president said.

Macron arrived on Tuesday in NATO member Romania. He had dinner with French soldiers on the Mihail Kogalniceanu base near the Black Sea and decided to spend the night in a tent instead of a hotel, according to his Elysee office.

On Wednesday, he had breakfast with soldiers before meeting Iohannis for more than an hour.

Later Wednesday, Macron travelled to Moldova for talks with President Maia Sandu in the capital Chisinau, where he called for the EU to send a positive signal to the former Soviet republic’s request to join the bloc.

"I would like us to send a positive and clear signal to Moldova. Nevertheless, I want to keep the conditions to build unanimity, consensus" amongst EU member states, Macron added.

Macron -- the first French president to visit Moldova since Jacques Chirac in 1998 -- has met Sandu three times since February 2021 in Paris and has developed "a relationship of trust" with the pro-European president, according to the Elysee.

"We know that the European integration of Moldova will be a long and complex process, which will require heavy efforts," Sandu said in response to Macron.

Hundreds of thousands Ukrainians have crossed into Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries with a population of 2.6 million. Most have since moved on to other countries.

June 15, 2022 / 6:00 PM

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