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Macron and Scholz agree except on the missiles delivered to Ukraine

Defense, savings, growth: Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz have marked Tuesday their will to work together à new projects for Europe, but the French president went to far on Ukraine by believing that it could strike Russia with Western missiles.

“We must allow them to neutralize the military sites from which the missiles are fired (…) the military sites from which Ukraine is attacked,” he said during a press conference at the occasion of a Franco-German council of ministers at Meseberg Castle, near Berlin.

“But we must not allow other targets in Russia to be hit and obviously civilian capabilities”, he immediately added.

The debate on the use or not on Russian soil of Western weapons supplied to Ukraine is agitating Washington and the European capitals.

The most reluctant so far – Rome and Berlin in particular – brandish the risk of escalation, of extension of the conflict, with the implicit risk of the use of nuclear weapons by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We do not want an escalation”, repeated Mr. Macron. “What has changed is that Russia has adapted its practices a little” and is attacking Ukraine from bases in Russia.

The chancellor remained more evasive, knowing that Germany refuses to deliver long-range missiles (more than 500 km) to Ukraine, unlike Paris, London and Washington.

“Ukraine has every opportunity to do this, under international law,” he said. “It must be made clear, she is attacked and can defend herself.”

Macron and Scholz agree except on the missiles delivered to Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomes French President Emmanuel Macron for a joint Franco-German meeting at Schloss Meseberg Palace near Berlin on May 28, 2024. © AFP – Odd ANDERSEN

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier warned against the use of Western weapons against Russian territory, citing “serious consequences” and calling on European states to think about the issue.

– “Shocked”-

NATO pushes Western capitals to lift restrictions that “tie their hands behind the backs of the Ukrainians”, in the words of its secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

Emmanuel Macron also refused to “comment on rumors” about the sending of French instructors to Ukraine, announced the day before by kyiv, which then reversed this announcement.

President Putin claimed that Western military instructors were already deployed in Ukraine, pretending to be mercenaries.

The president aroused the disagreement of certain European partners, including Germany, by not excluding the sending of French soldiers to Ukrainian soil.

On Gaza, the French president said he was “shocked”, “upset” by the civilian victims of the Israeli offensive in Rafah. He said he was “ready” to recognize a Palestinian state but at the “useful moment” and not under the influence of emotion.

The chancellor, whose country traditionally supports Israel because of its historical responsibility in the Shoah, has remained on a more measured stance.

Emmanuel Macron, who was completing a three-day state visit to Germany, and Olaf Scholz also made numerous gestures of good understanding, beyond differences, in the bucolic setting of Brandenburg, on the outskirts of Berlin.< /p>

The chancellor tried on several occasions to speak in French, as his host had done in German throughout his trip.

On anti-missile defense, “we are ready to launch long-term cooperation together”, indicated President Macron, pointing to a desire for “autonomy” with regard to deep strikes.

– “Peace, a risk” –

In economic matters, the two leaders want the creation of a “European savings product” in order to mobilize private capital for growth.

The European Union suffers from the fragmentation of its capital markets, divided between the different member countries.

Tuesday morning, the French president was awarded the International Prize of Peace in Münster (west) for his European commitment, particularly for peace in Ukraine.

“Making peace is a risk (..) we must (also) find the ways and means to continue talking to the enemy in order, at some point, sign a peace”, he stressed.

The prize, which he was to receive last year, was initially awarded to him for his dialogue with the Russian president in an attempt to prevent and then stop the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2022.

But the French leader, often criticized for these initiatives, has since broken all contact with the master of the Kremlin.

Macron and Scholz agree except on the missiles delivered to Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron at Schloss Meseberg Palace, eastern Germany, May 28, 2024 © POOL – Ludovic MARIN All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116