French President Emmanuel Macron (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
France and Germany want to achieve an early ceasefire in Ukraine that will allow the negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow to be brought to a conclusion in order to achieve peace, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday.
"What we want to achieve is an early cease-fire that will allow bringing to an end the negotiations that have begun between the delegations of Russia and Ukraine in order to achieve peace and a sustainable withdrawal of Russian troops. That is our goal. We want to help Ukraine negotiate on the terms it will determine," Macron said during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, adding that the only way to achieve peace is "at negotiating table with both Russia and Ukraine taking part."
Macron also said that together with Scholz, he will discuss with Volodymyr Zelenskyy the idea of creating a new European political community that would be able to accept Ukraine into its ranks.
"It (the idea of creating a new European political community) will be one of the topics that we, together with Chancellor Scholz, will discuss with President Zelenskyy," Macron added.
Earlier in the day, Macron said that it could take years or even decades for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union unless the bloc lowers its accession standards.
The Russia-Ukraine peace talks began at the end of February. Since then, the delegations of both countries have met twice in Belarus and agreed to continue online consultations. At the end of March, the delegations met in Turkey, where the Ukrainian side submitted its written proposals for a future ceasefire agreement.
However, the negotiations have since stalled. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed the talks stalemate on the inconsistency of the Ukrainian position, especially on the issues related to Crimea and the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.
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First Published: May 10 2022 | 7:45 AM IST