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Ukraine: Macron “takes responsibility” for shaking up Westerners and warns against “the spirit of defeat”

Emmanuel Macron calledé Tuesday à Prague the allies of Ukraine à "don't be cowardly" face &agrav; a Russia "that has become unstoppable", ensuring "assuming" his controversial remarks on the possibility of to send Western troops to this country at war.

“If every day we explain what our limits are” in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin who “has none and launched this war, I can already tell you that the spirit of defeat is there lurking,” warned the French president during his visit to the Czech Republic.

“I fully assume” the “strategic surge for which I called”, he said hammered out during a press conference, believing that the “clarity” of his remarks was “what Europe needed”.

At his side, the president Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, gave him his support.

“I am in favor of exploring new options, including a debate on a potential presence in Ukraine,” said -he approved.

A satisfaction which contrasts with the trouble sown by Mr. Macron when on February 26, at the end of an international conference in Paris, he mentioned a “strategic ambiguity” so that Moscow knows that everything will be done to prevent it from “win this war”.

He then explained that sending Western soldiers to Ukraine could not “be ruled out” in the future, even if it had recognized that there was no “consensus” at present.

But from the United States to Germany, including the vast majority of other allies, the leaders succeeded one another to distance themselves from the French president's comments and ensure that there was no question of sending soldiers to Ukrainian soil, presenting an image of division in the Western camp.

Vladimir Putin warned of a “real threat” of nuclear war in the event of escalation.

“We we do not want an escalation, we have never been in co-belligerence”, the French president responded remotely from Prague.

But he also felt that Europe was entering a moment “where it would be appropriate not to be cowardly”, as a warning to its Western allies. “We never want to see the tragedies that come”, but “we will have to live up to History and the courage it implies”, he warned in the morning to the French community.

At a time when he increasingly seems to want to impose his leadership in supporting Kiev and the standoff with Russia, Mr. Macron will also sign with the Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, a 2024-2028 action plan for the bilateral strategic partnership.

A week ago in Paris, he outlined several avenues to strengthen the military support provided to the Ukrainian army, which suffered setbacks on the front.

The French ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense will bring together their counterparts from other allied countries on Thursday by videoconference to detail these solutions, we learned from diplomatic sources on Tuesday. Mr. Macron is then due to travel to Ukraine by mid-March.

Among these options on the table is a Czech initiative to buy munitions outside the Union European, due to the current shortage which complicates the lives of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield, and then deliver them to them.

Ukraine: Macron “takes responsibility” for shaking up Westerners and warns against “the spirit of defeat”

Emmanuel Macron addresses the French community, in Prague, March 5, 2024 © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

As early as mid-February, Petr Pavel had mentioned some 800,000 munitions which could be sent to Ukraine “in a few weeks” if the necessary financing (1.5 billion dollars, according to the Financial Times) was gathered .

Long reserved, Mr. Macron announced last week that his country would participate in this initiative but without quantifying its contribution, unlike other states such as the Bottoms who promised 100 million euros. Despite the hopes of the Czech authorities, the French president did not provide an amount on Tuesday, and limited himself to reiterating his support for this “extremely useful” mechanism.

The contribution was to be discussed at ministerial level.

He also said he was “entirely in favor of the proposal to tax income” from Russian assets frozen, which represents “three to five billion” euros per year, “within the legal framework” of international law.

On the economic level, his visit aims also to support the candidacy of the French electricity group EDF which aims to win the market for a Czech civil nuclear program which could include the construction of up to four reactors.

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