Macron humiliated on two fronts by Zelensky and Putin

Ukraine: Zelensky refers to Russia as ‘Goliath’ in Munich speech

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French President Emmanuel Macron has been criticised by leaders in both Ukraine and Russia, with President Volodymyr Zelensky hitting out at his “useless” plans to discuss “security guarantees” with Vladimir Putin. As Mr Macron looks to use diplomacy to deal with Putin, Mr Zelensky has warned the Kremlin will not change its attitude.

In an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Mr Zelensky said the French President is “wasting his time.”

He added: “I have come to the conclusion that we are not able to change the Russians’ attitude. If they have decided to isolate themselves in the dream of rebuilding the former Soviet empire, there is nothing we can do about it, it is up to them to choose whether or not to cooperate with the community of nations on the basis of mutual respect.

“When the economic sanctions were imposed, some people accused us of isolating Russia, but that was not true: it was rather the decision to launch the war that marginalised Putin.”

Last week, Mr Macron said Russia should be warned against the idea “that Russia should be totally defeated, attacked on its soil”.

He added: “These observers want, above all to crush Russia. This has never been the position of France, and it never will be.

“What is needed today is for Ukraine to carry out a military offensive that disrupts the Russian front to trigger a return to negotiations…in the end, it will not be settled militarily […] considering that neither side can win entirely.”

But, on Sunday, Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Mr Macron’s comments. She said his word “has no value.”

She added: “About ‘never’: France did not begin with Macron, and the remains of Napoleon, revered at the state level, rest in the centre of Paris. France – and Russia – should understand.

Western allies continue to throw their support behind Ukraine as the war with Russia looks set to intensify in the spring.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden visited Kyiv as he pledged a new military aid package worth $500million (£415million).

Mr Biden also hit out at Putin, saying that the Russian leader was “dead wrong” for thinking Ukraine was weak and that the West was divided.

He said: “I’m here to show our unwavering support for the nation’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. One year later, Kyiv stands. And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands.”

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After receiving more military support, Mr Zelensky warned Putin that Russia has “no chance” in the war.

He said: “This is an unequivocal signal that Russian attempts to win will have no chance. Together we will protect our cities, our people from the terror of Russia.”

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