Paris will continue its dialogue with Moscow, said the French president
French President Emmanuel Macron rejected the “erroneous morality” which would prevent Paris from maintaining communications with Moscow, in a speech in front of its diplomats Thursday at the Elysée. Talking to Russia should not be left to Turkey alone, he argued, while reiterating his support for Ukraine and telling the French to prepare for “a long war”.
“A diplomat’s job is to talk to everyone and especially the people we disagree with,” Macron said during his annual foreign policy address to French diplomats gathered in Paris. “Who wants Turkey to be the only world power talking to Russia?
“France will continue to speak with Russia” he added, “in coordination with our allies.
“We must not give in to any form of erroneous morality which would seek to weaken us”, the French president said, commenting on criticism from some EU quarters of his phone calls to Moscow.
Expressing France’s position on the conflict in Ukraine, Macron said France was “not to participate in the war, we do not want”, but also that “we cannot let Russia win the war militarily” by gaining territory, because that would be “the defeat of the international order and of our values.”
Instead, the EU and the United States must work “either a victory for Ukraine or a negotiated peace concluded on terms acceptable to Ukraine”, he said, before acknowledging that the West “must prepare for a long war.”
The EU must not align itself with “the most warmongering types, who would risk extending the conflict and completely cutting off communications”, Macron warned, without specifying who he was referring to. Nor should it leave its easternmost members to carry support for Ukraine alone, he added – even though Poland and the Baltic states have been the most vocal critics of its diplomacy with the Kremlin.
“European unity is the key, and I dare say that the division of Europe is one of Russia’s war aims”, he argued.
Macron also urged ambassadors to be more aggressive in pushing back “disinformation, fake news and propaganda” on social networks and use the tools at their disposal to “breaking the Russian, Chinese or Turkish narratives” and tell the truth about French actions while France is “wrongfully attacked” on line.