Thursday, August 18

Putin’s dismissal of Macron in his last call before the invasion: “I’ll leave you, I have ice hockey”



Four days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin confirmed to Emmanuel Macron, in an elliptical but very firm way, his indefinite military support for the “separatists” of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbass region, insisting that he would go “until the end” of a “process” that can only end with the division, by force, of an independent state in Eastern Europe. France 2, the leading public service channel, will broadcast a documentary next Thursday reproducing the personal dialogue between the Russian president and the French president, who wanted to clarify Russia’s position regarding the military exercises announced by Moscow. France 2 has leaked about a thousand short words of that dialogue, between the familiarity, the absurd anecdotes and the precisions that Putin advances in his own way, without Macron wanting to understand the real scope of the terminology and the military decisions taken and to be taken by Putin. . Macron unsuccessfully tried to get Putin to submit to the failed negotiation projects known as the “Normandy format”, in which Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France participated. Defense of the separatists Faced with this insistence, Putin responds, irritated, with contained violence, affirming that the president of Ukraine is a dangerous liar. The Russian president responds to Macron asking for the “recognition” of the “authorities” of the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, in Donbass, in eastern Ukraine. Macron responds by describing Ukrainians supported militarily by Moscow as “separatists”. Putin jokes, insisting again and again on his frontal defense of the militias that declared civil war against the Ukrainian state in 2014, eight years ago, creating the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), recognized diplomatically in Moscow, when kyiv regards them as artificial institutions created and supported by Putin to dismantle the Ukrainian state. Putin’s Irony Presenting himself as a possible mediator between Putin, Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Macron insists again and again on the need for dialogue, suggesting several bilateral meetings, Russian-American, Russian-Ukrainian… Putin gives his “principle” agreement, but insists on the “preliminary” question: in his view, the Ukrainian government “is not democratic” and must “recognize” its allies in Donbas, whom Moscow recognizes as “legal” representatives of the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republics and Luhansk. In the conversation leaked by France 2, Putin ends the conversation ironically, saying that he was going to his sports room “to do physical exercises.” Macron says goodbye saying that “we will keep in touch.” This dialogue of the deaf, on the eve of the Russian invasion, seems to underline the risk of indefinite prolongation of the war: Ukraine, the USA, the Eastern countries, consider that the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, in Donbass, form part of the Ukrainian state. Putin considers the “independence” of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk “non-negotiable”. Granting Ukraine the status of a candidate state for EU membership may not resolve this tragic dilemma.


www.abc.es

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