Emmanuel Macron’s trip to the gates of Ukraine

In Romania and Moldova, the EU President acknowledged that Europe “must send clear political signals” to Kiev about its possible EU membership.

Special Envoy to Constanta (Romania) and Chisinau (Moldova)

War is near here. It even takes place on the other side of the border between Romania and Moldova, where Emmanuel Macron went successively on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the first country, France has strengthened its military presence within the framework of NATO. In the second, influenced in the first line by the humanitarian and economic consequences of the conflict, the Head of State once again recalled his concern for a “threat to stability for all of us “. Moldova benefits from support from France and the EU. Thanks to a € 40 million grant from the European Defense Fund, Moldova will be able to double its budget allocated to its army. But that is not enough to reassure her.

Like Ukraine and Georgia, the country has submitted a request to become a candidate for membership of the European Union and join a small club, which includes in particular the states of the Western Balkans. The Commission is due to deliver an opinion this week and the European Council will decide at the summit on 24 and 25 June. “The context of the war makes us look different at the moment“The French head of state admitted on the doorstep of the presidential residence in Chisinau with his counterpart, Maia Sandu.

Listened to in Moldova, Emmanuel Macron is even more in Ukraine. On the steps of Europe, and while rumors evoke it with insistence, Emmanuel Macron has, in half a word, confirmed an upcoming trip to this capital. He was one of the few Western officials who has not visited Kiev since the Russian invasion on February 24 and claimed to wait a while.useful“. The moment seems imminent.”We are converging to have new discussions with Ukraine“, Declared on Wednesday morning in Romania the head of state on the asphalt of the airport Mihail Kogalniceanu, after reviewing the troops at the base. “We must send clear political signals to Ukraine‘, He assured. “At the gate of our European Union, an unprecedented geopolitical situation is unfolding. So yes, the political context and the decisions that the EU and several nations will have to make justify further in-depth discussions and further progress“, he declared.

“A positive and clear message”

While Russia is sipping the ground in the Donbass, the Ukrainians continue to expect military aid that will enable them to resist the offensive. But Volodymyr Zelensky is also hoping for a political gesture to recognize Ukraine as a candidate. “We must not separate Moldova and Ukraine in the circumstances we knowExplained Emmanuel Macron, several times about his position. He said he wanted the Europeans to send “a positive and clear messageto Moldova. France secured the presidency of the European Union until the end of the month, Emmanuel Macron cautiously avoided saying more. He assured that he was working towards a consensus among the 27. Therefore, he stressed that the answer will be “on conditions“An accession to Ukraine or Moldova is not conceivable until many years, even decades.

That’s why Emmanuel Macron continues to push his idea of ​​”European Political Community(CPE), which could bring together states on the outskirts of Europe where some had left it and answer the immediate questions of stability that might arise. It is not a substitute for membership, he assured. CPE aims to “complete‘The accession procedure and to build solidarity between the Union and neighboring countries. “There must be a pillar of defense and security“, The head of state insisted. However, this CPE would not offer guarantees of automatic protection against aggression. “It is not realistic that it is of the same nature as Article 5in the Treaty on the Atlantic Alliance. In practice, the specific conditions for CPE have not yet been defined. But those around the head of state believe that the crisis Europe is going through should be an opportunity to rebuild a security architecture.

When we have helped Ukraine resist as much as possible, when – I hope – Ukraine has won (…), we must negotiate, the Ukrainian president and his leaders must negotiate with Russia

Emmanuel Macron

Next to Emmanuel Macron, Moldovan President Maia Sandu is ready to study the proposal. But she reiterates that her small country with less than 3 million inhabitants is eager to enter the road to Europe. The frozen conflict in Transnistria, a small region in the eastern part of the country controlled by a pro-Russian separatist regime, obviously poses an obstacle to a possible process. The Moldovan president hopes that the European perspective will serve as a lever to resolve or ease tensions. Meanwhile, she assures us that Russia is not seeking to use its approximately 1,500 military forces present in Transnistria for the benefit of the war in Ukraine. “The situation is calm and there is no immediate danger“, she says. The latest”explosions“it happened there”has an inner origin“, she says. On the French side we share the same analysis. The Prussians would have stored up their enthusiasm to prevent the situation from degenerating to their disadvantage.

In Ukraine, on the other hand, the situation is still just as difficult for soldiers who rely on Western military aid to hold on to and on their morale. Only 10% of the aid promised by Westerners would have reached them. On the French side, a military source ensures that everything that was to be delivered has been delivered, including logistical support options. But Emmanuel Macron’s words refused “to humiliateRussia raised questions about French support. The president takes them over. “At a time when we have helped Ukraine to resist as much as possible, when – I hope – Ukraine will have won and, above all, when the fire can stop, we will have to negotiate, the Ukrainian president and his leaders must negotiate with Russia‘, He assured. “The only desirable outcome of the conflict is either a military victory for Ukraine or at some point a discussion because the fire will have ceased, allowing an agreement between Ukraine and Russia“, he explained. Formulated at Europe’s borders, these positions must be explained and understood in Ukraine.

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