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Macron wants Crimea seized from Russia

No ‘lasting peace’ is possible without Ukraine gaining control of the Russian peninsula, the French president has claimed

Ukraine must regain control over all the territories it once held, including Russia’s Crimean Peninsula, French President Emmanuel Macron has said. Otherwise, no “lasting peace” will be possible, he claimed.

The president made the remarks on Thursday in an interview with broadcasters TF2 and France 2, bluntly describing Russia as France’s “adversary.” At the same time, he insisted that Paris has not been “waging war on Russia” but merely “supporting” Kiev in the conflict.

“Certainly, today, Russia is an adversary. The Kremlin regime is an adversary,” Macron stated. “We are doing everything so that it can put Russia in check because, I will tell you very simply, there is no lasting peace if there is no sovereignty, a return to the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, including Crimea.”

The latest remarks by the French president got a cold reception in Russia, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stating that Macron apparently “won’t mind increasing the degree of his involvement” in Russia-Ukraine hostilities.

“Yes, it’s obvious that Russia is an adversary of France because France is already involved in the war in Ukraine; it is indirectly taking part in this war,” Peskov told reporters.

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The French president has produced increasingly belligerent statements lately, standing by the remarks he made late in February, that a potential deployment of NATO troops into Ukraine cannot be “excluded.” The remarks prompted a wave of denial from fellow members of the US-led bloc. In this latest interview, Macron refused to elaborate on the matter, claiming he wanted to maintain “strategic ambiguity” and that he has “reasons not to be precise.”

Macron’s remarks echo the position repeatedly voiced by the top Ukrainian leadership, which proclaimed the goal of seizing from Russia all the territories that ended up being held by Kiev following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Crimea broke away from Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 Maidan coup in Kiev, promptly rejoining Russia after a peninsula-wide referendum. The Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics emerged this year as well, with the botched attempt of Kiev’s new authorities to suppress them by force resulting in years-long conflict in then-Ukrainian Donbass.

The two republics, as well as the formerly Ukrainian Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, were incorporated into Russia in late 2022 after the idea was overwhelmingly backed by locals in referendums separately held in each territory. Moscow has repeatedly signaled that its sovereignty over Crimea and any other Russian territories is not a subject to negotiation with anyone.


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