Macron's remarks on Russia "can only humiliate France," says Ukraine's Dmytro Kuleba

We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means. I am convinced that it is France's role to be a mediating power.

Emmanuel Macron.

Ukraine rebuked French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday for saying it was important not to "humiliate" Russia, a position Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said "can only humiliate France", Reuters reports.

Macron has sought to maintain a dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February. His stance has been repeatedly criticised by some eastern and Baltic partners in Europe, as they see it as undermining efforts to push Putin to the negotiating table.

Kuleba responded to Macron's comments in scathing fashion.

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Macron has spoken with Putin regularly since the invasion as part of efforts to achieve a ceasefire and begin a credible negotiation between Kyiv and Moscow, although he has had no tangible success to show for it.

"I think, and I told him (Putin), that he is making a historic and fundamental mistake for his people, for himself and for history," Macron said this week.



Asked about the mediation offer on national television, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said there was "no point in holding negotiations" with Russia until Ukraine had received new weapons from the West and pushed Russian forces back "as far as possible to the borders of Ukraine".

Russia now occupies about a fifth of Ukrainian territory. Kyiv is receiving more powerful weapons from the West.

"Our armed forces are ready to use new weapons...and then I think we can initiate a new round of talks from a strengthened position," David Arakhamia, Ukrainian lawmaker and a member of the negotiation team, said on Friday.

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