Macron urges European leaders to boost Ukraine support, saying Russia 'must not win' - Hindustan Times
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Macron urges European leaders to boost Ukraine support, saying Russia 'must not win'

AP |
Feb 27, 2024 12:13 AM IST

Macron urges European leaders to boost Ukraine support, saying Russia 'must not win'

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron told fellow European leaders Monday they must ensure their collective security by providing unwavering support to Ukraine in the face of tougher Russian offensives on the battlefield in recent months.

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“We are in the process of ensuring our collective security, for today and tomorrow,” Macron said as he hosted 20 European heads of state and government and other Western officials in Paris for a show of unity for Ukraine, as Russia’s full-scale invasion grinds into a third year.

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“Russia cannot and must not win that war,” Macron said at the meeting at the presidential palace, which included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as leaders from the Baltic nations.

“In recent months particularly, we have seen Russia getting tougher,” Macron said. “We also know that Russia is preparing new attacks, in particular to shock Ukrainian public opinion.”

Macron cited the need to to solidify security to head off any Russian attacks on additional countries in the future. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia as well as much larger Poland have been considered among possible targets of future Russian expansionism. All four countries are staunch supporters of Ukraine.

Estonia’s foreign minister said earlier this month that NATO has about three or four years to strengthen its defenses.

In video speech, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on the leaders gathered in Paris to "ensure that Putin cannot destroy our achievements and cannot expand his aggression to other nations.”

A top French official said the conference isn't aimed at making new commitments in terms of weapon deliveries and financial aid, but rather at better coordinating support for Kyiv and ensuring that aid promises are kept. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the conference details and goals.

The United States was represented at the Paris meeting by its top diplomat for Europe, James O’Brien, and the U.K. by Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

European nations are worried that the U.S. will dial back support as aid for Kyiv is teetering in Congress. They also have concerns that former U.S. President Donald Trump might return to the White House and change the course of U.S. policy on the continent.

The Paris conference comes after France, Germany and the U.K. recently signed 10-year bilateral agreements with Ukraine to send a strong signal of long-term backing as Kyiv works to shore up Western support.

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Associated Press writer John Leicester contributed to this report.

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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