Biden and Macron pledge to hold Russia accountable for Ukrainian ‘war crimes’

US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday renewed their commitment to fight the Russian invasion of Ukraine during a meeting at the White House where the allies also acknowledged the tensions related to the management of stress economics of war.

Biden greets Macron in the first state visit since the US leader took office in early 2021. Biden and his wife, Jill, greeted Macron and his wife, Brigitte, with hugs, kisses and broad smiles as they celebrated over 200 years of America. – French relations.

In a joint statement released after their Oval Office talks, the two leaders said they were determined to hold Russia accountable « for the widely documented atrocities and war crimes committed both by its armed forces regularly and by its representatives » in Ukraine.

They pledged to coordinate their concerns regarding « China’s challenge to the rules-based international order, including respect for human rights, and to work with China on important global issues such as climate change. climatic ».

Biden welcomed France as « our oldest ally, our steadfast partner in the cause of freedom » during the arrival ceremony on the South Lawn. The two leaders celebrated their country’s alliance against Russian President Vladimir Putin and as defenders of democracy.

Dealing with Putin’s « ambition of conquest »

« France and the United States face Vladimir Putin’s ambition to conquer » and « defend the democratic values ​​and universal human rights that are at the heart of our two nations, » Biden said.

Biden speaks during a meeting with Macron in the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday. Biden said France and the United States faced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s « conquest ambition ». (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

« That doesn’t mean we agree on every solitary thing, » he said. « But that means we agree on almost everything. »

Macron said the two nations had a shared responsibility to protect democracies on both sides of the ocean and to deal together with the direct and indirect consequences of the war in Ukraine.

“A carbon-neutral economy, creating lots of jobs, means investing a lot in our economies, and we need to synchronize our actions on this issue,” he said.

Macron arrived in Washington on Tuesday for his second state visit to the United States since taking office in 2017.

Biden, 80, and Macron, 44, have had plenty of encounters at international gatherings, but this will be the most time they have spent together. A scintillating state dinner was planned, with 200 Maine lobsters flown in for the occasion.

The men smiled as they shared asides and seemed comfortable with each other before their discussions.

french president emmanuel macron speaks during a meeting at the white house with the u s president
Macron, seen inside the Oval Office on Thursday, said the United States and France had a shared responsibility to protect democracies on both sides of the ocean and to deal together with the direct and indirect consequences of war in Ukraine. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

Macron worries about US subsidies

Macron was set to raise French and European subsidy concerns in Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a $430 billion US bill that offers massive subsidies for US-made products and aims to address the climate crisis.

European leaders say the legislative package Biden signed in August is unfair to non-US businesses and would deal a serious blow to their economies as Europe deals with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In a Wednesday meeting with U.S. lawmakers, Macron said the law was « super aggressive » toward European businesses, a participant told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Macron told the French community in Washington that the cost of the war in Ukraine was much higher in Europe than in the United States and that Europe risked falling behind if subsidies siphoned off new investment. It could « fragment the West », he said.

There was no indication that Biden was ready to make concessions.

Support Ukraine

Both leaders sought to build support for the Ukrainian military.

NATO ministers met in Bucharest and pledged more help to Ukraine to fight Russian attacks on energy infrastructure as winter continues.

ukrainian electricity workers put on body armour before starting repair work in kherson
Electricity workers are seen donning bulletproof vests and hard hats before starting to repair a destroyed high voltage power line in Kherson, Ukraine on Thursday. NATO ministers pledged increased aid to Ukraine to help counter Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The alliance, of which the United States and France are founding members, was also discussing how to address challenges posed by China’s military buildup and cooperation with Russia, US Secretary of State Antony said. Blinken. Macron has previously said that China should not be the focus of NATO’s concerns.

The two leaders and their wives, who dined together informally on Wednesday, took part in an arrival ceremony on the South Lawn which included a military honor guard, a red-jacketed colonial band with the Fife and Drum Corps and national anthems.

Among the gifts Macron brought was a vinyl and CD version of the soundtrack to Claude Lelouch’s 1966 film A man and a womanthe film the Bidens went to see on their first date, according to the Elysée.

The Bidens presented Macron with a custom wooden mirror fallen from the grounds of the White House and a collection of custom vinyl records from great American musicians.

The formal dinner at a pavilion on the South Lawn of the White House will feature music by Jon Batiste, chardonnay from Napa Valley and cheeses from Oregon, California and Wisconsin.


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