France’s Macron takes own path, seeks dialogue with Russia | AP News

https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-russia-france-europe-vladimir-putin-9898a5deebb2b62266fafc2d2590ebb9

PARIS (AP) — There’s still room for diplomacy in the Ukrainian crisis. At least that’s the conviction of French President Emmanuel Macron, who continues to push for dialogue with Russia despite signs pointing to a potential war.

His stance reflects France’s post-World War II tradition of carving its own geopolitical path, refusing to line up blindly behind the U.S. It’s also part of Macron’s domestic political strategy amid campaigning for April’s presidential election, where nationalists are setting the agenda and a war in Ukraine could prove an unwelcome distraction.

Macron is preparing to talk Friday with Vladimir Putin, and Macron’s presidential palace hosted marathon talks Wednesday between Russian and Ukrainian advisers, the first such face-to-face negotiations since Russia has massed troops near Ukraine in recent weeks.

Wednesday’s talks among Russian, Ukrainian, French and German advisers appeared to buy all sides more time, as they agreed to meet again in two weeks. But France’s diplomacy-focused strategy complicates efforts by the U.S. and NATO to show a tough, united front against Russia. And experts question whether it will be enough to deter a Russian invasion of Ukraine.


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