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Russia on Sunday slammed France President Emmanuel Macron over his remarks about wanting to see Russia defeated in the war against Ukraine and reminded him of the fate of
Napoleon Bonaparte while accusing the French president of duplicitous diplomacy with the Kremlin. Macron had told paper Le Journal du Dimanche that France wanted Russia to be defeated in Ukraine but had never wanted to “crush” it. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (February 19) slammed Macron and invoked Napoleon while accusing France and the West of attempting to “change the government” in Moscow. Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that “France did not begin with Macron, but the remains of Napoleon, revered at the state level, rest in the centre of Paris. So that France understands everything, and so does Russia.”
Zakharova said Moscow still remembers the fate of Napoleon Bonaparte and accused the French president of two-faced diplomacy with the Kremlin.
Her comments came after Macron’s interview with the newspaper Le Journal Le Dimanche was published, where the French president said: “I want the defeat of Russia in Ukraine and I want that Ukraine can defend its position, but I am convinced that at the end this won’t end militarily.”
He added that he doesn’t think that Russia would be “defeated completely” or attacked on its own soil. He said, “These commentators want above all to erase Russia. That has never been France’s position and it will never be.”
Macron urged allies on Friday to step up military support for Ukraine. However, he did mention that he did not believe in “regime change”. He repeated that he thinks there would have to be negotiations at some point.
He said, “Let’s be clear, I don’t believe for one second in regime change, and when I hear a lot of people calling for regime change I ask them, ‘For which change? Who’s next? Who is your leader?'”
Russia picked up the “regime change” remark and said that it showed the West had engaged in discussions about regime change in Russia.
Macron had faced criticism also in the past when he urged to follow diplomatic channels to end the war and repeatedly sought meetings with the Russian leadership.
He remained a staunch supporter of Ukrainians while speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, and repeated his call to “strengthen our support and our effort to help the Ukrainian people and army’s resistance and allow them to carry out the counter-offensive”.
(With inputs from agencies)
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