Macron wants Russia defeated but not ‘crushed’
French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview on Saturday that he does not support calls for Ukraine to bring war to Russian soil and bring about a “total defeat” for Moscow. The West, however, still considers Crimea and four new Russian regions to be parts of Ukraine.
“I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil. Those observers want to, above all else, crush Russia… That has never been the position of France and it will never be our position,” Macron said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, published on Saturday.
“I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position,” the French leader stated.
Crimea and the city of Sevastopol joined Russia in 2014 following a referendum. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, did the same last year. Kiev has dismissed the referendums as a “sham” and pledged to fight until it recaptures the territories, inspired by Western backers' promises of support “for as long as it takes.”
Addressing Western leaders, diplomats, officials and spies at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, Macron said he also opposes pushing for “regime change” in Moscow, arguing that such methods are unlikely to lead to anything positive or resolve the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” Macron told the gathering of Western leaders, diplomats, officials and spies in Munich this weekend to discuss their ongoing efforts to prop up Kiev’s military.
Macron has maintained contact with Russian President Putin since the military operation in Ukraine began, and has cautioned the West against trying to force “humiliating” peace terms on Russia. However, despite repeatedly insisting the conflict can only end with a ceasefire and talks, he has continued to provide Kiev’s forces with progressively heavier weapons, including infantry fighting vehicles and artillery guns.