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Ukraine, Europe: Macron and Scholz meet on angry subjects

After the Europeans and the far right, the subjects that irritate: Emmanuel Macron meets Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday, on the last day of his visit to State in Germany, to discuss support à Ukraine and the strengthening of Europe, beyond disagreements.

“A bad wind is blowing in Europe”, “wake up!”, launched the French president Monday evening in front of several thousand young people in Dresden (east), less than two weeks before the European elections, in pointing out the rise of the far right and the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

He will first be awarded the Westphalian International Peace Prize on Tuesday morning , in Münster (west), as part of its European commitment.

This prize was to be presented to him in July 2023 but the state visit then scheduled was postponed to May 2024 due to urban riots in France.

The head of the State will deliver a speech on this occasion in the presence of its German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

The prize was initially awarded for his dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to prevent and then stop the Russian offensive in Ukraine in 2022.

But Emmanuel Macron has since severed all contact with the master of the Kremlin while the military operation continues and Russian forces advance on the ground.

– Deep strikes –

Ukraine, Europe: Macron and Scholz meet on angry subjects

Emmanuel Macron at a press conference on May 26, 2024 at the presidential palace in Berlin © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

“Peace is not the capitulation of Ukraine. Peace is the one that the Ukrainians will have chosen”, he insisted in Germany, particularly in the direction of Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, visiting Madrid, for his part called on the West to “use all means” to force Russia to make peace.

The state visit, punctuated by tributes and signs of unity and friendship, ends in Münster. It will be followed by a Franco-German council of ministers late in the afternoon in Meseberg, near Berlin, this time alongside Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

On Monday, Kiev again requested anti-aircraft defense systems to be able to intercept the thousands of guided bombs launched each month by Russia on its country.

Germany , which announced in April the sending of an additional Patriot system, is urging its European allies to follow its example.

In difficulty on the eastern and northeastern fronts , Ukraine has also been demanding for months to be able to strike Russian positions and rear bases on Russian territory with Western weapons.

But Americans and Europeans have so far refused for fear of an escalation, giving a certain advantage to the Kremlin forces.

– French instructors –

Contrary to Washington, Paris and London, Olaf Scholz even refuses to deliver long-range (up to 500 kilometers) Taurus missiles to Kiev.

< p>NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, however, considered that it was “time to reconsider” these restrictions towards Ukraine which bind it “with its hands behind its back”.

In Kiev, after initially announcing the upcoming arrival in Ukraine of French military instructors, the military authorities clarified on Monday that the question was under study, but not yet decided .

Emmanuel Macron has aroused disagreement among certain European partners, including Germany, by not excluding the sending of French soldiers to Ukrainian soil.

Ukraine, Europe: Macron and Scholz meet on angry subjects

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on May 24, 2024 in Berlin © AFP – RALF HIRSCHBERGER

If he says he is willing to study the relevance of the “anti-missile shield” advocated by the chancellor in Europe, he also doubts that this “totally protects” against Russia and pleads for strategic thinking that integrates also “nuclear deterrence”.

Concerning the future of the EU, the chancellor subscribed even before the meeting to the diagnosis of the French president, who judges that “the 'Europe is mortal'.

A sign of a desire to move forward, both signed an article in the daily Financial Times calling for a rethinking of the continent's economic strategy to ensure its future.

The tree that hides the forest ? Dissensions remain great over a common debt of Europeans, advocated by Paris, to boost the green transition and digital or on the place of nuclear energy in Europe.

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