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France’s Macron downplays controversy over Russia security comments

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday pushed back against criticism of his remarks that Russia would one day need to be assured of its own security from Western actions.

Macron was replying to disapproval from Kyiv and some eastern European countries, which accused him of being too lenient or making too many overtures towards Moscow in comments on Saturday.

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“I think we should not... try to create controversy where there is none,” the French leader said on his arrival at an EU-Balkans summit in Tirana.

In comments on Saturday, Macron noted that it would be necessary to provide “guarantees for its own security to Russia, the day it returns to the table” of negotiations.

“One of the essential points is the fear that NATO will be at its door, and the deployment of weapons that can threaten Russia,” he said on the French channel TF1.

These statements had provoked criticism.

“Someone wants to provide security guarantees to a terrorist and murderous state?,” the secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, Oleksiy Danilov, said on social media.

For Polish deputy foreign minister Marcin Przydacz, Macron was “making a mistake” with his statements, and the West should stick to a policy of isolating Moscow.

Ending the Ukrainian conflict will be done by offering security guarantees for Ukraine, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said Monday, adding that as for Russia, “we will talk about it later.”

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