French President Emmanuel Macron was on a phone call with Russian and German counterparts, Vladimir Putin and Olaf Scholz, after which he spoke to reporters about Ukraine’s request of fast-tracking the European Union (EU) membership, CNN reported.
Macron said, “With a country at war? I don’t think so … Must we close the door and say ‘never’? That would be unjust”. Scholz also echoed this, saying, “It is very important that we continue to pursue the things that we have indeed decided in the past, CNN reported.
Macron meanwhile, called the war in Ukraine a “tragedy … a human, political and humanitarian tragedy”, and added it’d “lead to completely redefining the architecture of Europe”.
He was also quoted saying “These are discussions that are strategic and historic. They will lead to, today, in the coming weeks and months, historic decisions for our Europe”.
The French president expressed he was troubled on seeing images of the attack on the Mariupol maternity ward. Macron noted since Russia began its war against Ukraine “humanitarian tragedies of this kind were made at multiple occasions”, and continued, “The weapons, profoundly lethal, without discernment, were being used right in the middle of cities”.
Later in the day, Macron said that conditions set by Putin for a ceasefire in Ukraine weren’t acceptable to anyone.
He said, “I do not see a diplomatic solution in the coming hours or even coming days”.
Macron’s statements come ahead of a meeting of EU leaders to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising gas prices, and less dependence on Russian oil and gas. Currently, Europe faces the pressure of following the US and the UK in banning Russian oil and gas, but the EU is largely dependent on it and is feeling greater economic pain due to sanctions on Russia.
While the EU has actively been trying to provide aid to Ukraine, it has clarified that a country at war wouldn’t be immediately granted membership. Notably, Ukraine not joining NATO and EU, was part of Putin’s conditions to deescalate before the invasion had begun. At present, Ukraine, too, has cooled to the idea of joining the military organization.