London has proposed giving Kiev even more weapons and security guarantees just short of membership in the US-led military bloc, in order to encourage negotiations with Moscow, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. Paris and Berlin reportedly support the initiative and have already advised President Vladimir Zelensky to talk, though he has refused.
Though French President Emmanuel Macron has publicly called for “a military offensive which pushes back the Russian front in order to open the way for a return to negotiations,” he has privately advised Zelensky to make “difficult decisions,” according to officials who spoke to the Journal.
Over dinner at the Elysee Palace earlier this month, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Zelensky he needed to start considering peace talks, according to people familiar with the conversation. London, Paris and Berlin would not comment on the record.
“We keep repeating that Russia mustn’t win, but what does that mean? If the war goes on for long enough with this intensity, Ukraine’s losses will become unbearable,” a senior French official told the Journal. “And no one believes they will be able to retrieve Crimea.”