‘We won’t help Putin save face by paying with our territory,’ Ukrainian president says.
French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Ukraine to make concessions to its sovereignty to help Russian leader Vladimir Putin save face, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.
In an interview with Italian TV channel RAI's talk show Porta a Porta, which aired on Thursday night, Zelenskyy was asked about Macron's comments on Monday warning Europe to avoid humiliating Putin.
"We want the Russian army to leave our country, we are not on Russian soil," Zelenskyy replied. “We will not help Putin save face by paying with our territory. That would be unfair." Zelenskyy added that Ukraine will never recognize Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Macron is looking "in vain" for a "way out for Russia", Zelenskyy said.
The Elysée rejected Zelenskyy's accusations. “The President of the Republic never discussed anything with Vladimir Putin and never asked President Zelensky for a concession without the consent of President Zelensky. He has always said that it is up to the Ukrainians to decide the terms of their negotiations with the Russians,” an Elysee official said on Friday.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Conference on the Future of Europe on Monday, Macron said Europe "must never give in to the temptation of humiliation or the spirit of revenge" when it comes to Russia's war against Ukraine.
The French president also said: "When peace returns to European soil, we must build new security balances." The reference was interpreted as indicating that Macron was still seeking a compromise with Putin.