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Munich Security Conference. Emmanuel Macron: We are prepared for a long-term war. Now is not the time to talk

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Now is not the time for dialogue, because we have a Russia that has chosen war, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke on Friday at the annual Security Conference in Munich. Like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he pointed out that one must be prepared for a long war. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg mentioned the threat posed by cooperation between China and Russia.

President of France Emmanuel Macron spoke at the Munich Security Conference about the need for support for Ukraine and help in Kyiv’s counter-offensive. – We absolutely must intensify our support and our efforts for the resistance of the Ukrainian people and their army and help them launch a counter-offensive. Only it can lead to credible negotiations on the conditions of Ukraine, its authorities and its people, said Macron.

French president who was heavily criticized by the international community at the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine for maintaining regular contact with the Russian president Vladimir Putinon Friday made it clear that now is not the time for us to talk with Russia.

“Now is not the time for dialogue because we have a Russia that has chosen war, that has chosen to escalate the war and that has decided to go as far as war crimes and attacks on civilian infrastructure,” Macron said.

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Emmanuel MacronPAP/EPA/ANNA SZILAGYI

He also noted that “we are prepared for a long-term war.” “Even if we don’t want it, we must collectively be credible in our ability to persevere in this effort.” This is the only way to force him (Vladimir Putin – ed.) to talk at the negotiating table in an acceptable way, he stressed.

Macron’s appeal to the West to invest in its own defense

The French president said that Russia cannot win this war and Russian aggression must fail. “We cannot accept the trivialization of the illegal use of force, because otherwise all European security and, more generally, global stability is at stake,” Macron said.

He called on the governments of Western Europe to “reinvest” in their defense in order to face the “challenges” facing the continent. “The basic call is the need for massive investments in our defense if we Europeans want peace,” he said.

He announced that he wanted to organize a “conference on Europe’s air defense” in Paris, with the participation of Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom in particular. This summit, in his opinion, “will allow to address this topic from an industrial point of view” because it would be held with the participation of all European industrialists who “have solutions to offer in this area, and also from a strategic point of view, including on deterrence nuclear.”

Stoltenberg: NATO is watching Russia-China cooperation

NATO is closely monitoring the latest signs of increased military cooperation between Russia and China, the NATO secretary general said in Munich Jens Stoltenberg.

READ ALSO: Volodymyr Zelensky at the Munich Security Conference: David defeated Goliath not by talking, but by action

– We can see that they (Moscow and Beijing – ed.) are trying to act in a coordinated manner more and more often. They organize joint military maneuvers as well as sea and air patrols, Stoltenberg was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Scholz: Germany is Ukraine’s biggest military ally in continental Europe

Allied countries that are able to deliver tanks to Ukraine should do so now, the German Chancellor announced Olaf Scholz. As he stressed, Germany will help in making such a decision by providing logistics, replenishment of supplies and training of Ukrainian soldiers. “For me, this is an example of the leadership that people can expect from Germany,” stressed the chancellor.

As Scholz recalled, last month the German government announced the supply of modern Leopard 2 tanks from Bundeswehr resources to help Ukraine repel the invasion of Russian troops. Now it is waiting for some European partners to fulfill their own declarations of supplying Ukraine with Leopards.

“Germany is Ukraine’s greatest military ally in continental Europe,” Scholz said, noting that his country would still want to strike a balance between supporting Kiev and avoiding an escalation of the conflict. To do this, all actions must continue to be closely coordinated with the allies, explained the head of the German government.

Olaf ScholzEPA

“The direction we’ve taken together is uncharted territory. For the first time in our history, a nuclear power is waging an imperialist aggressive war here on European soil,” concluded Scholz. He said he didn’t expect it to end soon war in Ukraine. “I think it’s wiser to prepare for a long war.” Therefore, it is important that the allies are ready to support Ukraine as long as it is necessary, stressed the Chancellor.

Scholz reaffirmed his commitment to increasing Germany’s defense spending to the current NATO target. “Germany will permanently increase defense spending to two percent of gross domestic product,” Scholz announced.

Dozens of heads of state and government in Munich

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) has been organized since 1963. It is a prestigious forum for discussion on current problems of international security among the heads of state and government, foreign and defense ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of the media and science. Since 2022, the conference has been chaired by former German diplomat Christoph Heusgen.

In this year’s 59th edition of the MSC, scheduled from Friday to Sunday, Poland is represented by President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

For the second time in a row, the annual conference is held without the participation of representatives of Russia.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO



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