After meeting with Putin, Macron says the 'risk of destabilization is increasing'

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin.
(Image credit: Thibault Camus/AFP via Getty Images)

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Moscow on Monday, but after five hours of negotiations, there was no breakthrough on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

"Right now the tension is increasing and the risk of destabilization is increasing," Macron said. "Neither Russia, nor the Europeans, want chaos or instability, when nations have already suffered from the [COVID-19] epidemic. So we need to agree on concrete measures." Macron added that he doesn't "believe in spontaneous miracles. There is lots of tensions, nervousness."

It's estimated that Russia has about 140,000 troops along the border with Ukraine and in Belarus, and on Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Putin has "added to his force capability" in those areas. U.S. officials believe that Russia has in place more than 70 percent of the soldiers needed to launch an invasion of Ukraine, and some analysts believe Putin is only entertaining Western leaders in order to buy more time to prepare, The Guardian reports.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Putin has made several security demands of NATO and the United States, including that Ukraine never be admitted into NATO. Macron said on Monday that NATO's open door policy is essential for Europe; Putin replied that it is only good for the United States.

While he didn't go into detail about what was privately talked about, Putin did say it is possible for Russia to consider "a number" of Macron's "proposals and ideas ... in order to lay a foundation for our further steps." Macron will head to Kyiv on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and he said he'll call Putin afterwards to brief him on their discussion.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us