The meeting between Macron and the US president opens a window of opportunity. The Elysée Palace: ‘Conference in Paris on 13 December’. White House chief: ‘Willing to see the Russian president, but only if he shows signs of wanting to end the war’
Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron, the presidents of the United States and France, met in Washington in a face-to-face meeting. This meeting was preceded by statements that were not all friendly. But instead went smoothly. The joint statement after the meeting, in addition to the obvious declaration ‘we will support Ukraine as long as necessary’ and ‘we work together so that Russia is held accountable for its crimes’, adds the mention of ‘an international conference to be held in Paris on 13 December‘.
Biden and Macron ready to talk with Putin
A quote that sent a shiver of excitement through many media. In the hope, that a peace conference was just around the corner.
It doesn’t seem so, unfortunately. The one mentioned by Biden and Macron is only the international conference of assistance to Ukraine. Already convened by the Elysée on 1. November and agreed with Ukrainian President Zelensky. This summit is to ensure that Kiev can survive the winter despite the destroyed infrastructure, the electricity that is not there, the water that is missing.
Joe Biden said he was ‘willing to talk to Putin if he said he wanted to end the war. But so far he has not done so’. Macron said he would ‘continue to talk to Putin to constantly seek conditions for peace’. That’s all for now.
Sergei Lavrov’s words on the Russian side
President Putin’s man of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov, on the other hand, said: the ‘Nato and the US are directly involved in the conflict, not only by supplying weapons but by training Ukrainian military personnel’.
He also said that “the pope has used unchristian words” denouncing the cruelties committed by Burians and Chechens – ethnic Russians – in the conflict. “Perhaps it was a misunderstanding, but this does not help the authority of the papal state”.
Lavrov also said that Russia is waiting for sensible people to come from the EU with sensible proposals. “According to EU “foreign minister” Josep Borrell, the conflict must end with Ukraine’s victory on the battlefield, and that says a lot about European diplomacy”.
But in the end, Lavrov said that John Kerry is the American the Russians could trust. ‘I have met him more than fifty times, and now I see in John a person who is sincerely interested in solving problems together’.
Is a peace conference really possible in the brief term?
The leader of the West and his French counterpart, on the other hand, have been very insistent on ‘recognising Russia as responsible for its culpability’ in the aggression against Ukraine and the resulting war crimes.
In this regard, Von der Leyen’s proposal to set up a special tribunal against Moscow, something quite dreadful that would bypass the International Criminal Court, caused quite a stir in Europe.
Read also: War in Ukraine: is Cold War between East and West really over?