Ukraine crisis: Macron claims a deal to prevent war is possible

The French President Emmanuel Macron said that he believes a deal can be reached to prevent war in Ukraine and that Russia should raise its security concerns.

Ukraine crisis: Macron claims a deal to prevent war is possible

He called for a new balance to appease Russia and protect European countries before he met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday.

He reiterated that Ukraine's sovereignty was not up for debate.

Russia has deployed troops at the border of Ukraine, but it denies any plans to invade.

Moscow made several demands of the Nato defense alliance, which includes that Ukraine be excluded from membership and that it reduce its military presence within eastern Europe.

This has been rejected by the West, who instead suggested other areas for negotiation, such as talks to reduce nuclear weapons.


According to Mr Macron, Russia's goal was not Ukraine but clarification of the rules...with NATO and the EU."

He stated that he hoped that his dialogue with Putin would suffice to avoid military conflict and that he believed Putin would be open for discussion on other issues.

On Sunday, Mr Macron spoke with Joe Biden, the US President. He cautioned against expecting Moscow unilaterally to de-escalate things and stated that Russia was entitled to express its concerns.

He said that establishing dialogue with Russia would not be possible "through the weakness of any European state".

He stated, "We must defend our European brothers by proposing new balance capable to preserving their sovereignty & peace."

"This must be done with respect for Russia and understanding the current traumas of this great nation and people."

Coordination with American and German allies is underway for the trip to Moscow, then on to Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

The international spotlight is also on Mr Macron ahead of France's presidential elections in April.

France's president, Francois Hollande, has repeatedly called for a renewed relationship to Russia. In January, he stated that the EU should have its own dialogue with Moscow and not rely on Washington.

The US government warned again that Russia could invade Ukraine anytime.

"We are in the window. "Russia could strike military action against Ukraine any day now or in a few weeks," Jake Sullivan, White House national security advisor, told Fox News on Sunday.

Two US officials had earlier revealed to Reuters that Russia had about 70% of the military capabilities required for a full-scale invasion Ukraine.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister, seemed to downplay the threat of invasion. He tweeted on Sunday, "Do not believe in the apocalyptic prediction." Different capitals may have different scenarios but Ukraine is prepared for any eventuality.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are almost eight years old after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula. It also supported a bloody rebellion within the eastern Donbas.

Moscow accuses Ukraine of not implementing the Minsk Agreement - an international agreement to restore peace in the east. Since 2014, Russian-backed rebels have seized large swathes and more than 14,000 people have been murdered.