Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to denounce a genocide in Ukraine by the Russian army was deemed “very hurtful” by his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I will do my best to discuss this issue with Mr. Macron today,” he told a press conference. “If not, then tomorrow when he finds the time.”
Earlier in the day, Emmanuel Macron had chosen not to use the term “genocide” used by his American counterpart Joe Biden to accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of it in Ukraine. “I would say that Russia unilaterally unleashed a brutal war, that it is now established that war crimes were committed by the Russian army and that it is now necessary to find those responsible for them”, declared the French president, first.
“I’m not sure the escalation of words serves the cause”
“It’s madness what is happening, it’s incredibly brutal (…) but at the same time I look at the facts and I want to try as much as possible to continue to be able to stop this war and to rebuild peace, so I’m not sure that the escalation of words serves the cause,” he continued.
The spokesman for Ukrainian diplomacy, Oleg Nikolenko, reacted quickly, deeming Emmanuel Macron’s position “disappointing”.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden for the first time accused Vladimir Putin of carrying out genocide in Ukraine, a word previously used by Volodymy Zelensky but never by the US administration. On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also spoke for the first time about genocide in Ukraine.
Russia, for its part, defends itself by denouncing a “staging” and “falsifications” orchestrated by the Ukrainians and intended to harm it.