France and Germany back Ukraine’s call for Russian troop pullback
Zelensky’appeal for help in Paris follows Biden’s condemnation of Russian ‘aggression’.
France, Germany and Ukraine have called for Russia to reserve a recent build-up of military forces along the Ukrainian border to ease rising tensions in the region. Zelensky met France’s President Emmanuel Macron for lunch at the Elysée Palace on Friday and later joined him in a video conference on the crisis with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Zelensky, under domestic pressure to stand up to Moscow and end encroachments of its territory, is seeking early membership of the EU and Nato, but European officials and analysts say both are distant prospects at best.
Tatiana Kasstouéva-Jean, russia expert at the French International relations institute, Ifri, says:
The priority for the West is that the ceasefire holds. I don’t believe there will be a Russian invasion, but it’s dangerous, and a skirmish could get out of control.
She suggested that the most plausible outcome, assuming full-scale war can be avoided, was a long-term stalemate such as that prevailing in the breakaway, ex-Soviet Moldovan region of Transnistria.
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