French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky will have to restart negotiations with Russia at some point, offering European mediation in the process.
“We want peace, which means that once we reach a ceasefire, discussions must resume,” the French leader said during a visit to Romania.
“The Ukrainian president is going to have to negotiate with Russia, and we Europeans will be present at that table to offer security guarantees,” Macron added, speaking to the media alongside his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis
Macron is visit included meetings with political leaders and with French troops deployed to the Mihail Kogalniceanu military base as part of NATO’s build-up on the eastern European flank. He touted the 500-strong presence of French soldiers as a “clear message of commitment” to the bloc’s policy during a speech at the base.
NATO has ramped up troop presence across Eastern Europe, claiming it was necessary to deter Russia from attacking. Moscow perceives the buildup as confirmation of the bloc’s hostility towards Russia and an encroachment on its borders.