It is impossible to have peace and stability in Europe without negotiating with Russia, says French President Emmanuel Macron.
He said this on Thursday in an interview with Atlantic Council on February 4, 2021, posted by the Elysee Palace on February 5.
"In this very sensitive region, I mean Ukraine and Belarus, we need a political discussion with Russia. When I see the results of the previous strategy for Ukraine as well as the current one for Belarus, these results are not positive. We have to restore the principles of our discussion regarding these countries," Macron said.
The French President added that in critical, deadlock situations concerning Ukraine as well as [Russian opposition leader Alexei] Navalny, it is extremely important to be firm and have full solidarity.
"If we want to reengage, we need to reengage a dialogue with Russia. You asked for examples where stopping any dialogue and being stuck in some critical situations like Ukraine or Navalny, that are extremely important and where we have to be tough, in full solidarity, which is the case. But beyond these points, we do need a comprehensive dialogue."
According to him, it is necessary to keep a dialogue with Russia since it is part of Europe from a geographical and historical point of view.
"It's impossible to have peace and stability in Europe, especially at our borders today, if you are not in a situation to negotiate with Russia."
In his opinion, the European side should hold comprehensive dialogue on other issues in relations with Russia.
"Obviously, we have as well the Ukrainian situation with justified sanctions and a process which was designed in Minsk with a Normandy format. And we got some small progress in December 19 here in Paris. And we are working hard to get more progress. But in such a context, why did I decide indeed to resume parts of discussions with Russia? I advocate ongoing dialogue," Macron said.
For various reasons, the French President said, mainly due to Russia's aggressive actions, as well as NATO enlargement, we have created a situation where our borders have moved eastward, but this has not reduced the level of conflict and threats on these borders.
"I believe that common approaches to building peace and security across the continent need to be clearly established in the coming decades," Macron said.
Also, he condemned Russia's recent decision to jail opposition leader Alexei Navalny.