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War in Ukraine | Exchange with Putin: Macron thinks that “the worst is yet to come”

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(Paris) Emmanuel Macron thinks that “the worst is yet to come” in Ukraine after his exchange with Vladimir Putin, who expressed “his very great determination” to continue his offensive, the aim of which is “to take control” of the whole country, according to the Élysée.

During a 1:30 a.m. telephone conversation, the Russian president told his French counterpart that the Russian army operation was developing “according to the plan” planned by Moscow and that it would “get worse” if the Ukrainians did not accept his conditions, the presidency said. “The president’s (Macron) anticipation is that the worst is yet to come given what President Poutine told him,” according to the Élysée.

It was Vladimir Putin who took the initiative for this exchange, the third since the start of the invasion on February 24, in order to “inform” Emmanuel Macron “of the situation and his intentions within the framework of the frank dialogue. between them, underlined the presidency.

To the accusations of the first on the Ukrainians, the French “replied to him that he was committing a serious error on the Ukrainian regime”, which “is not Nazi”. “You tell yourself stories, you look for pretexts,” he told him, reported the Elysée, inviting him “not to lie to himself”.

“This interview made it possible to come back to the disagreements, to tell the truth to President Putin”, but also “unfortunately”, to note “his determination to continue the military operation until the end”. “The Ukrainians are fighting bravely. Nothing is certain, but the balance of power is very disproportionate, “said the Elysee, underlining Emmanuel Macron’s” pessimism “at the end of the discussion.

“We are going to toughen the sanctions” against Russia, the presidency also reaffirmed, considering that it was “a very powerful tool as we can see in the collapse of the ruble”.

Paris also considers “very significant” China’s decision to abstain from the UN, where a resolution demanding the “immediate” cessation of force against Ukraine, was adopted by an overwhelming majority. “We are interested in the fact that China has offered its mediation” and “are in contact with officials” in Beijing, said the Elysee.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince offers to act as mediator

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to mediate to end the war in Ukraine, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

A week after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, the de facto ruler of the Gulf monarchy has called for a “political solution” to the conflict.

The kingdom is “ready to make the effort to facilitate a mediation between the two parties”, he said according to SPA.

Gulf Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, have mostly refrained from criticizing Russia, with which they are deepening ties.

On Wednesday, however, they voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution that “demands” that Moscow withdraw “immediately” from Ukraine.

During his telephone conversation with Mr. Putin, Mohammed bin Salman also repeated that Riyadh wanted to “maintain the balance and stability of the oil market”, while the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) , of which the Saudis and the Russians are a part, do not wish to rapidly increase its production.

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