Macron the mediator: Can France help calm Ukraine crisis?
12 February 2022 | 11:16 am
Emmanuel Macron is on a special trip to Moscow to meet and talk with Vladimir Putin. The mission: to try and calm matters on the Ukraine-Russia border and avoid what many analysts say is certain war. Macron is representing the EU, with France holding the rotating presidency. What influence does he take into these talks?
Germany has declined to join allies such as the US and UK in shipping weapons to Ukraine. The country faces an unpredictable buildup of Russian troops on its borders — and there is precedent for armed aggression.
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In a week when France has been at the forefront of EU news thanks to heated exchanges between President Macron and Members of the European Parliament, we speak to leading French MEP from the president's political group, Fabienne Keller. The former Strasbourg mayor tells FRANCE 24 Emmanuel Macron is "determined" to make progress on key issues including rule of law in the EU, and argues that he should be re-elected as French leader, saying "he needs five more years to finish the job".
Russia still seems to be beefing up the military presence on its border with Ukraine, while Kyiv has received military support from the US and the UK. Germany won't send weapons to Ukraine, saying that would only escalate the situation.
It's been a rollercoaster 24 hours on global stock markets, with huge swings on Wall Street and volatility hitting its highest level since October 2020. Investors are waiting for the decision from the US Federal Reserve on when it will start raising interest rates, but are also concerned about the rising tensions at Ukraine's border. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has slumped as low as $33,000, down over 50 percent from its peak in November. Our Business Editor Stephen Carroll has the details.
The West still doesn't know why war in Ukraine might happen, but it increasingly seems like it's happening. Kiev is trying to keep calm and rally support while being surrounded on three sides and being the recent victim of a cyberattack that feels like a dry run. Meanwhile, NATO countries are sending weapons and advisors while deploying fresh troops elsewhere in Eastern Europe. But that's small compared to the 100,000-plus forces amassed by Moscow.
The EU has said it could withdraw financial aid from Burkina Faso and hit coup leaders with sanctions if "constitutional order" is not restored.
Russia still seems to be beefing up the military presence on its border with Ukraine, while Kyiv has received military support from the US and and its NATO allies. Germany won't send weapons to Ukraine, saying that would only escalate the situation.
As Antony Blinken responds in writing to Russia's demands for an overhaul of Eastern Europe's security architecture, in the same breath he urges American citizens in Ukraine to leave. This Wednesday's "Normandy Format" talks, including France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, serve as a reminder that Ukraine has already lost its territorial integrity – back in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and supported the insurgency that's raged since in the southeast. So what is Moscow after this time?
Joe Biden says he isn't ruling out personal sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin if he invades Ukraine. The threat from the US president comes as tensions between Moscow and the West continue to heat up. On Tuesday, the third instalment of US military equipment landed in Ukraine and more than 8,000 American troops stationed in Europe have been placed on standby.
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