After strongly criticizing Emmanuel Macron because of his refusal to use the word “genocide” with regard to Russian abuses committed in Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed to have invited his French counterpart to Ukraine to see for himself the situation on the spot.
“Regarding Emmanuel, I spoke to him,” President Zelensky said in an interview with the American channel CNN conducted on Friday and broadcast on Sunday.
“I think he wants to ensure that Russia engages in a dialogue”, he added, to explain the refusal of the French leader to denounce a “genocide” in Ukraine, unlike the president of the United States Joe Biden.
The Ukrainian president initially deemed this refusal “very hurtful” on Wednesday. “I told him that I wanted him to understand that this is not a war, that this is nothing but genocide. I invited him to come when he has the opportunity,” Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN. “He will come, and he will see, and I am sure he will understand.”
Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden with reversed foreheads
Emmanuel Macron, in the middle of the campaign for his re-election in the presidential election next Sunday in France, explained Thursday that the word “genocide” should in his opinion be “qualified by lawyers, not by politicians” and that “enter into the ‘verbal escalation’ was ‘not helping Ukraine’.
In his interview broadcast on Sunday, the Ukrainian president also said he wanted Joe Biden to come to Ukraine, who surprised him by saying this week that Russian forces were committing “genocide”.
“I think he will come,” “but the decision is up to him, of course, it depends on the security situation,” he said.
For now, Boris Johnson is the only Western leader to have visited Ukraine. It was April 9.