Macron says Russia not welcome in G8 without peace in Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met in France, an event viewed by some as a possible step to improve relations between the West and Russia.

However, during the Aug. 19 meeting, Macron stood strong in emphasizing that Putin’s country cannot get back into the Group of Seven (G7) until its war in Ukraine ends.

“The resolution of this conflict is a magic wand that will open the door for Russia to return to the G7 club, which could become the G8 (again),” Macron said during the joint press conference with Putin.

The meeting between the two leaders took place at Bregancon fortress in southern France just days before France will host the G7 summit. The G7 group includes the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Italy and Japan.

Russia was excluded from the group in 2014 after the country annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and launched a war in eastern Ukraine. During five years, that war has killed over 13,000 people.

During the press conference, Putin said that Russia’s return to the G7 is strategically important both for his country and for Europe “if it wants to survive as the center of civilization.”

However, Macron said that returning to normal relations between Europe and Russia isn’t possible without resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

Macron also said that, during the upcoming G7 summit, the country leaders will discuss a possible future meeting in the Normandy format, a diplomatic group established to resolve the war in eastern Ukraine that includes Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia.

After President Zelensky’s election in Ukraine, there is a new need for the Normandy contact group, the French president said.

“Zelensky has taken a number of courageous steps and actions in this conflict, which has been going on for 5 years, and which led to the reality that the civilian population (in eastern Ukraine) lives in terrible conditions,” Macron said.

The French leader also said it’s important that the Normandy summit takes place if the four parties feel tangible results can be achieved. For that reason, in several days, diplomatic advisers of each of the four member states will meet to discuss what steps each side can take, as well as to plan the future summit.

(c) KyivPost

6 comments

  1. Hold your horses Putin lover, peace in Ukraine has nothing to do with Russia being booted out of G8, Russia were kicked out because of the annexation of Crimea. So get your facts right, and tell Putin when Crimea returns to Ukraine, then the terrorist state can be invited back to organisations for civilized countries.

    • How soon people forget. The Pootlerstan will push the war part to sweep Crimea under the carpet. Forget Russian speakers in Crimea, Tzar Pootie of Mordor had his eye on the strategic military region for years. Maidan and Yanukobytch’s removal by his party members for overstepping the constitution with his subsequent flight to Pootlerstan provided the ideal opportunity.

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