Macron claims his meeting with Putin can avert a Russian invasion of Ukraine

7 February 2022, 12:16 PM

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he is certain his visit to Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin will help avoid a full-blown Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a report in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche on Feb. 6.  

Macron will visit Moscow on Feb. 7 and will then head to Ukraine on Feb. 8 to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Macron told Le Journal du Dimanche that he believes that “a new balance” needs to be found in the matters of security, making sure Russia’s interests are respected.

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According to Macron, it is not Ukraine’s independence on the table but rather a new rulebook for relations between Russia, the EU and NATO.

“We must protect our European brothers by proposing a new balance capable of preserving their sovereignty and peace,” said Macron.

He called Russia “a great nation” that deserved respect and understanding of its “contemporary traumas.”

Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.

The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.

The situation on Ukraine's eastern border is a matter of deep concern for both US and European Union officials. According to U.S. president Joe Biden, the White House is looking at a range of options to dissuade Russia from a potential attack on Ukraine.

Proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia.

Ukraine’s top military official, Lieutenant General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, said on Feb. 3 that he believes a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian to still be unlikely, though he noted that the constant stream of men and material to the border regions is a “cause for concern.”

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