War in Ukraine why Macron wants defeat Russia without crushing

War in Ukraine: why Macron wants ‘defeat Russia’ without ‘crushing’ it

Emmanuel Macron at the Munich Security Conference. UNUSUAL ANDERSEN / AFP

ANALYSIS On the plane that will take him back to Paris after attending the Munich Security Conference on Friday night, Emmanuel Macron gave an interview to Le Figaro, France Inter and JDD. For him, neither Ukraine nor Russia can win outright. And if Ukraine needs to win, France doesn’t want to “crush” Russia.

On board the presidential plane

There are days that go better than others. Also in Germany at a time when the Paris-Berlin engine was faltering under the effects of the Ukraine war. And when Emmanuel Macron returns from Munich after a dinner with Chancellor Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda, he is particularly relaxed. Around the Falcon table, he rolled up the sleeves of his white shirt to speak candidly to the three reporters accompanying him.

Rarely has his position on Ukraine been so appreciated by his allies as in the Bavarian capital, where the French President attended the international security conference just days after receiving Volodymyr Zelensky in Paris. Many on the conference site were waiting for him around the corner, led by his clumsy phrases about “humiliation” or “security architecture.” But he made his position clear to his allies: Ukraine must win…

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