Friday, January 27

Macron and Scholz will continue to help Ukraine but do not commit to sending tanks


Updated

Both leaders hold a summit to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Franco-German alliance

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in ParisLUDOVIC MARINAFP

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, and his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz, have promised this Sunday to “continue supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary”, although they have not wanted to commit to sending tanksthe most coveted piece by the Government of Volodimir Zelensky and which could be the key for Ukraine to recover its territories.

“We condemn Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest terms and we will continue to show unwavering support to Ukraine in all possible fields, including the political, military, economic, financial, humanitarian, social and cultural fields,” the leaders said in a joint communication after a Franco-German council of ministers held in Paris.

Both leaders celebrate this Sunday a summit to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty, which was signed in 1963 to seal the alliance between the two countries. They do so after months of postponement, caused by their disagreements on some key issues, and in full debate over delivery to Ukraine of Leopard 2 tanks, a decision that could hasten the end of the war but to which Germany is reluctant.

On this point, the German chancellor explained that any decision has to be made “in consultation with the European partners”. “The way we have acted in the past is in close coordination with our allies and we will continue to act accordingly,” Scholz responded at a joint press conference at the Élysée Palace.

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Emmanuel Macron also stressed that all these efforts will be coordinated collectively, with Germany: “We will work in the coming days and weeks,” said the French president, who added, about the shipment of his Leclerc tanks, which “nothing is excluded”.

For Paris to make this decision would add pressure on Berlin to do the same. According to Macron, the conditions The reason for this shipment to be made is, as he explained, that it does not cause an escalation in the war, that it can provide effective support for the Ukrainian troops, and that does not weaken the country’s own defense needs.

weakened axis

Both leaders tried to stage the fact that the Franco-German axis remains united and that this alliance has not weakened. This axis has always agreed on the European strategy in the face of conflicts, but since Angela Merkel left the relationship had cooled, especially due to differences in defense in the war in Ukraine.

“We converge in our vision of Europe and in that of our countries,” Macron said. “The return to war on our continent has made us see how important it is to do things for ourselves, as Europeans. We have talked about defense and we are determined to continue taking the necessary steps to strengthen our European defense capabilities,” he said. .

“Our union has not weakened and our support for Ukraine will continue in all areas”, you had highlighted in a previous commemorative act at the Sorbonne.

In his speech, Scholz stressed that the Franco-German friendship “offers a solid alliance” in the current context. “Russia’s war, Putin, has sought to shift the borders by force. Putin’s imperialism will not win”he had said during his speech.

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He also highlighted “the decisions of the last days, in concert, to deliver material and we will continue to give Ukraine support for as long as necessary.”

energy issue

This bilateral summit, the first after the election of the German, has served the countries to zoom in positions in other aspects, such as energy. France has always opted for nuclear energy, while Germany has had to face, as a result of the war, its energy dependence on Russia.

Specifically, the leaders agreed this Sunday to extend to Germany the H2MED megaproject, the plan to build an underwater renewable hydrogen corridor between Barcelona and Marseille.

After an event in the morning at the University of La Sorborna to celebrate this 60th anniversary, a a joint council of ministers with a broad representation of the governments of both countries in which other issues were addressed, such as the energy crisis, joint industrial programs.

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