Ukrainian officials rejected the idea suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron that the West should consider how to address Russia’s demand for security guarantees if Moscow agrees to negotiations about ending Vladimir Putin’s nine-month war in Ukraine.
On Sunday, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, questioned providing security guarantees “to a terrorist and killer state.”
“Instead of Nuremberg — to sign an agreement with [Russia] and shake hands?” Danilov tweeted, referring to the trials of Nazi war criminals after World War II. “Ukrainian blood on Putin’s hands will not bother business as usual?” he wrote.
He was responding to a televised interview published on Saturday in which Macron said Europe should discuss “how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table” over the war in Ukraine.
“One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia,” Macron said.
Danilov said he believes that a “denuclearized and demilitarized” Russia is “the best guarantee of peace for Europe and the world.”
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that instead of guarantees to the Kremlin, the world needs security guarantees “from the barbaric intentions of post-Putin Russia.” However, he wrote on social media, this will be possible only after tribunals and convictions of the authors of the war on Ukraine as well as the imposition of reparations.
This is not the first rift between Kyiv and Paris over possible negotiations with the Kremlin. Zelenskyy said in May that Macron asked Ukraine to make concessions on its sovereignty to help Putin save face.
The Elysée rejected Zelenskyy’s allegations at the time, stressing that Macron has never asked Zelenskyy for any concessions.