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Macron: We have no limits and will react to Russia's behaviour

Saturday, 16 March 2024, 22:09
Macron: We have no limits and will react to Russia's behaviour
Emmanuel Macron. Stock photo: Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that his country "has no limits" when it comes to helping Ukraine and will respond to Russia's behaviour.

Source: Macron in an interview with Ukrainian journalists broadcast on Saturday night during the national joint 24/7 newscast

Quote: "I've said what our goal is. Russia cannot and must not win this war. Plus, our goal is to bring sustainable peace back to Europe... To achieve this goal, we will not go down the path of escalation, because we don't need another war, but we are prepared to say that we have no limits, and we will react to how Russia behaves.


At some point, Ukrainians will definitely have to be in a strong position at the end of this war when they negotiate a sustainable peace. But for now, I am not taking offensive initiatives because this is not the spirit of collective solidarity."

Details: Macron said that the situation in Ukraine today is "more complicated than ever": Russia has switched to a military economy, and there is "a lot of uncertainty about the prospects" in the international arena.

"That is why we need to determine not only how to move towards peace, but also what real peace, which will ensure security for you and for Europe, will be like. That's why we need this new impetus at the level of European countries to speed up their assistance. If the enemy says that they have no limits, why should we say that we have limits?" the French president said.

Asked whether he would pick up the phone if he received a call from internationally wanted criminal Vladimir Putin, Macron said: "Yes, I would pick up the phone. Because I feel it is my responsibility. And I would listen to what he has to say. I believe that France's role is to be the sinews of war, as Churchill put it. On the one hand, we need to give Ukraine everything it needs to strengthen its defence capabilities, and on the other hand, we need to help de-escalate. We need to reach a sustainable, lasting and just peace. So if he suddenly wanted to propose something, I would listen to the meaning of his proposals. But then, of course, I have to say that the only negotiations are those that the heads of the two states [Russia and Ukraine – ed.] are willing to hold."

Macron also added that "France has its own position on nuclear deterrence" and reiterated that it is Putin who threatens other countries "completely inappropriately" with nuclear weapons.

"We see that we have to provide additional guarantees to Ukraine today, so that Ukraine has clear sight of the military aid schedule and of what it can count on, and can proceed with confidence to the point at which negotiations become possible. But it will be a very fundamental discussion, in which Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity will be the fundamental underlying value," he said.

Asked whether France had a plan in place in case the US stopped supporting Ukraine and withdrew from NATO, Macron stressed that it was in the US’s interest to continue to help Ukraine in the long term because "the fate of international law and liberal democracy is being decided in Ukraine". 

"But we Europeans still need to prepare for different scenarios. Because for us, Ukraine is an existential issue. If you lose this war, we will not be able to have any European security. So we have to prepare for all possible scenarios. We need to persuade all European countries to build their own defence policy," the French president stressed.

When the journalists suggested requesting a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Olympic Games in Paris, Macron responded: "Yes, we will ask for one."


  • On 26 February, after a meeting in Paris, Macron admitted that Western troops could be sent to Ukraine in the future, although he stressed that there was currently no consensus among the allies on this issue.
  • He later added that his remarks, which caused an outcry, had been carefully thought out.
  • In an interview published on 14 March, Macron said that Ukraine must regain Crimea  if there was to be lasting peace and urged the international community not to be weak.
  • He also responded to recent statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin about Russia's readiness for nuclear war. " We must first and foremost feel protected, because we are a nuclear power. We are ready; we have a doctrine [for the use of nuclear weapons]," the French president said.

This news has been updated since publication.

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