Macron Bends to Pressure, Now Says Ukraine 'Must Win' War With Russia
French leader was criticized for earlier comments
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday passed the litmus test during a high-profile meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv when he told reporters that Ukraine must defeat Russia in its war.
Macron was joined by Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The three took an 11'-hour train ride to Kyiv. They were also joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
"We saw a devastated city and traces of barbarism. And also the heroism of Ukrainian men and women who stopped the Russian army when it went to Kyiv. Ukraine is resisting. She must be able to win," Macron said after a a tour of Irpin.
The French president came bearing gifts. He promised Ukraine six massive truck-mounted artillery guns so “Ukraine alone can decide its fate.”
Any world leader who does not vow complete loyalty to Zelensky’s effort to win back every inch of his country is met by anger in the Western media that has become nothing more than mouthpieces for governments that hate Russia.
Macron felt the wrath when he said, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France's role to be a mediating power.”
Dmitro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, took to Twitter at the time and posted, “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.”
Even after the visit by the four European leaders on Thursday, Ukrainian leaders still insisted on not giving up an inch of territory.
“I am sure that our president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is not going to make concessions and trade our territories. If someone wants to stop Russia by giving them territories, Germany has Bavaria, Italy has Tuscany, the French can concede Provence, for instance,” he said.
Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of state, also felt the wrath of Kyiv for stating that Ukraine may have to cede land in order for a peaceful settlement. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, said Kissinger would as easily “allow to take Poland or Lithuania away,” in a reference to WWII.
The leaders also discussed Ukraine joining the EU.
“We are at a turning point in our history. The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that underpin the European project, our project. We cannot wait. We cannot delay this process,” Draghi, the Italian prime minister, said.
The meeting came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion in new weapons, including advanced weapons systems.