The French president and the German chancellor put “maximum pressure” on their Russian counterpart to achieve an “immediate” ceasefire
In a new telephone conversation, two days after the last call, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, put “maximum pressure” on their Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, this Saturday to achieve a halt on “immediate” fire in the Ukraine, without, for the moment, it seems that the strong man of the Kremlin is willing to give his arm to twist.
“We put maximum pressure and we will not stop doing it, we will not lower the pressure so that President Putin ceases the war,” explained sources from the Elysee Palace, who described Macron and Scholz’s conversation with Putin as “very frank and difficult” in a ‘dramatic’ moment for Ukraine and for Europe. Putin, who has shown “no will” to stop the war, “is determined to achieve his goals,” added the same sources.
Macron, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union this semester, is “determined to use all the instruments of diplomacy so that this conflict ends as soon as possible,” including more sanctions.
Macron and Scholz warned Putin that Brussels is preparing “in the next few hours” a new package of sanctions. From the Elysee they recall that the sanctions announced so far against Moscow after its aggression against Ukraine are “massive”, “Iranian-type”. Paris considers that they are similar to those that had previously been approved against other countries, such as North Korea or Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
The European Union is ready to “go further” with sanctions, Macron and Scholz warned Putin. “Nothing is prohibited, nothing is taboo,” said the French president on Friday at the conclusion of the Versailles European Council. He remains to be seen if European countries finally dare to take the plunge and ban imports of gas, oil and coal from Russia as part of sanctions for the invasion of Ukraine. Many countries, including Germany, are resisting because they are so dependent on oil and gas.
At Versailles, the 27 Heads of State and Government of the European Union considered that all responsibility for this war rests with Moscow, recognized Ukraine as part of “the European family”, promised to welcome Ukrainian refugees and warned Moscow that they are preparing more sanctions against Russia if Putin continues with his military offensive.