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France denies Ukraine’s accusations of advising Kiev to make concessions to Russia

France denies Ukraine's accusations of advising Kiev to cede territory to Russia - Photo 1.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: AFP

In a May 12 interview with Italian television station Rai 1, Zelensky accused Macron of suggesting that Kiev should “seek a way out for Russia” so that hostilities in Ukraine could end.

“Some leaders proposed to us to give up their sovereignty to end the campaign of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which does not seem right at all and is a waste of time,” the Ukrainian president replied. when asked about his French counterpart’s warning that Europe must avoid humiliating Putin.

The French president responded to those claims on May 13, stressing that he “never asked Mr. Zelensky for concessions”. He added that the Ukrainians will decide for themselves the terms of their negotiations with Russia.

“The French president has never discussed anything with Putin without the consent of President Zelensky,” the Elysee Palace said.

President Macron remains one of the very few Western leaders to continue to have direct dialogue with President Putin amid the conflict in Ukraine. However, he insists he is stepping up sanctions against Moscow, including tougher restrictions on Russian energy, as well as authorizing arms shipments to Kiev.

Russia launched a special military operation in the neighboring country at the end of February 2022, after accusing the Ukrainian side of not implementing the terms of the Minsk agreement, first signed in 2014.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country and will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. In response, Kiev asserted that the Russian operation was completely gratuitous and “unacceptable”.

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