“It is the reality of things” that Ukraine and Europe “will have to negotiate” with Russia over the Ukrainian war at some point, French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday.
“The only desirable end to the conflict is either a Ukrainian military victory or talks at some point because fighting has stopped, so at some point we must talk,” he said while visiting French troops at the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in eastern Romania.
We Europeans will be around the table to negotiate, at some point that will happen,” he added.
The French leader, on a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova, stressed that France is not at war with Russia, despite European support for Ukraine.
“The difficulty in which we were all plunged, is that while we condemn, we sanction, we support the Ukrainians in their fight but we are not at war with Russia,” he said.
Macron also said that the current deployment of French forces to NATO’s eastern flank “will increase in strength,” without providing further details.
According to the French armed forces, France has some 500 troops deployed in Romania under NATO command, alongside fighter and surveillance aircraft, as well as some 300 troops in Poland and Estonia.