French President Macron does not want to let the thread of talks with his Russian counterpart Putin break off. Although he condemns the invasion of Ukraine as a "mistake", he does not rule out diplomatic solutions. However, the US ambassador to Germany sees things differently.
French President Emmanuel Macron has described the war of aggression in Ukraine as a "big mistake" by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Negotiations with the Kremlin chief are "still possible," Macron said in an interview with US broadcaster ABC. Macron stressed that peace in Ukraine must be sustainable. "A good peace is not a peace imposed on Ukrainians," Macron said. A good peace is not one that is not accepted by either party in the medium or long term.
"I think President Putin made a big mistake when he started this war," Macron continued - referring to the Minsk agreement that was reached between Ukraine and Russia to prevent war. "There was a political and diplomatic process involving the international community." But Putin made his own decision to attack Ukraine based on a false narrative. Macron speaks regularly with Putin and announced before his trip to the USA that he would try to contact him again "in the next few days".
Macron has been in the United States for a multi-day state visit since Tuesday evening (local time). In contrast to regular work visits, the protocol involved is much higher and includes special program items such as the state banquet. Macron is the first foreign guest in the administration of US President Joe Biden to receive this honor.
Biden greeted Macron with military honors in front of his official residence in Washington and in a speech praised the "consistency, strength and vitality of the great friendship between France and the United States of America."
"France is our oldest ally, our steadfast partner in the service of freedom," added the US President in front of numerous invited guests. Macron also paid tribute to the relations between the two countries and called for them to be further strengthened: "In the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine and numerous crises affecting our nations and societies, we must become brothers in arms again."
In contrast to Macron, the US ambassador to Germany, Amy Gutmann, sees little chance of talks with Putin. "We currently have no signs that Putin would be willing to negotiate," Gutmann told the Saxon newspaper. "But if he is, I'm sure Ukraine will be ready to do the same. It will determine when it regains full state integrity and sovereignty. But Putin is standing in the way."
She described the German reaction to the war as "clear and courageous". She is aware that the current situation involves "great sacrifices" for all US allies in Europe, for example due to high energy prices. "But it's also true that nobody makes such great sacrifices as the people in Ukraine. We're doing everything we can to support them, but nothing to allow this war to escalate any further," said Gutmann. The only acceptable end to this war "for us is that Ukraine wins".