Macron says he wants Russia defeated, not crushed
French President Emmanuel Macron says he is convinced that the Ukraine war will not conclude militarily.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that he wanted Russia to be defeated in its war with Ukraine, but not "crushed".
Macron was speaking after returning from the Munich Security Conference (MSC), where he urged allies to intensify their support for Ukraine, and said France was prepared for a drawn-out conflict.
"I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position," the French told French newspapers JDD and Le Figaro and broadcaster France Inter, in an interview released on Saturday.
He continued, "I am convinced that, in the end, this will not conclude militarily."
"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,"
Earlier, in an address at the Munich Security Conference, Macron considered that now is not the time for dialogue with Moscow as he described the war in Ukraine as a Russian "neocolonialist and imperialist" offensive that "broke all taboos."
On Wednesday, Macron and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed that both countries share a common objective to push toward the end of the war in Ukraine, according to the French President's office.
Macron and Wang "expressed the same objective of contributing to peace in accordance with international law," the statement said.
It is noteworthy that in late January, Macron said he would not rule out France delivering fighter jets to Ukraine but warned against the risk of escalation in the conflict.
French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu also confirmed that France will send 12 more Caesar truck-mounted howitzers to Ukraine.
France was by early December the 7th-largest supporter of Ukraine since the war broke out, according to data on military and financial aid collated by the Germany-based Institute for the World Economy think-tank.
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