Macron savaged by Polish PM over ‘disgraceful’ attempt to appease Putin -‘We should fight’

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Ukraine on Sunday accused Russian forces of carrying out a “massacre” in Bucha and Western leaders reacted with outrage to images of bodies strewn across the streets of the town. However, in contrast to other EU leaders, Paris has advocated maintaining an open channel of dialogue with the Russian president on top of EU sanctions.

According to the Elysée Palace, Macron has spoken to Putin at least 16 times since the start of the year.

But the Polish PM has described Russia under Putin as a “totalitarian-fascist state” and called for strong actions “that will finally break Putin’s war machine”.

Mr Morawiecki said: “President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin? What have you achieved?

“We don’t discuss, we don’t negotiate with criminals. All we should do is to fight them.

“Nobody negotiated with Hitler. Would you really negotiate with Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot?”

Mr Macron’s office said in a response that it is important for President Putin to understand the demands of Western countries and the cost for Russia of disregarding them.

Reacting to Polish PM’s statement, foreign analyst and a Thatcher’s aid Nile Gardiner tweeted: “Emmanuel Macron’s close engagement with Putin is an absolute disgrace. Shameful.”

A French presidential official told Reuters: “From the onset, the president has used all available means to make Putin stop the war: massive sanctions, support to Ukraine, demands made directly to President Putin during their calls.”

Mr Macron has spared no effort to mediate between Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, travelling to Moscow and Kyiv in early February and speaking to Putin 16 times since the start of the year in telephone conversations the Elysée says have been confrontational but offered an opportunity to keep a communication channel open and gauge Putin’s state of mind.

Elysée officials have in the past offered scathing readouts of the calls, saying Putin has appeared “paranoid” in these calls, has lied to the French leader and that Macron told him he made a serious mistake in invading Ukraine on February 24.

Meanwhile, France confirmed it will join Germany in expelling Russian diplomats in response to the atrocities seen in Ukraine.

A ministry source, who asked not to be named, said 35 Russian diplomats would be expelled.

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The foreign ministry statement added: “This action is part of a European approach.

“Our first responsibility is always to ensure the safety of French people and Europeans.”

Germany on Monday expelled a “significant number” of Russian diplomats in what Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called a response to the ‘unbelievable brutality’ the Kremlin had unleashed in Ukraine.

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