Emmanuel Macron says there is a chance for peace in Ukraine
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday he believed there was a chance for peace in Ukraine, even as Russia warned the conflict could escalate.
« There is a prospect of peace, it will come at some point, » Macron told a conference in Rome aimed at exploring ways to promote world peace.
“And at some point, given how things are going, and when the Ukrainian people and their leaders have decided on the terms of this, a peace agreement can be built with the other side,” Macron added.
France has repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping Western diplomatic channels to Moscow open since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.
On Sunday, Russia fired missiles and drones at Ukrainian-held Mykolaiv, and Moscow said the conflict was tending towards an « uncontrolled escalation ».
On Sunday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the situation in Ukraine in separate telephone conversations with French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu, as well as with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and British and Turkish defense ministers.
Without providing evidence, Shoigu said Ukraine could escalate with a « dirty bomb » – conventional explosives mixed with radioactive materials. Ukraine does not possess nuclear weapons, while Russia has declared that it could protect Russian territory with its nuclear arsenal.