Emmanuel Macron in Kiev to fix Ukraine crisis but UK questions tactics

Getting closer? Emmanuel Macron is in Kiev to fix Ukraine crisis… but UK questions his tactics

  • Britain was said to be concerned last night about Emmanuel Macron’s ‘private promises’ to Vladimir Putin in a bid to secure a peace deal over Ukraine 
  • The French premier has positioned himself as a potential peacemaker in eastern Europe after dining with President Putin at the Kremlin on Monday 
  • Sitting at either end of a 16ft table due to Covid measures, the pair washed down the finest cuisine with vintage wines 

Britain was said to be concerned last night about Emmanuel Macron’s ‘private promises’ to Vladimir Putin in a bid to secure a peace deal over Ukraine.

The French premier has positioned himself as a potential peacemaker in eastern Europe after dining with President Putin at the Kremlin on Monday.

Sitting at either end of a 16ft table due to Covid measures, the pair washed down the finest cuisine with vintage wines.

As they dined, Mr Macron made offers to Mr Putin that were not sanctioned by France’s Nato partners, including the UK, the Daily Mail has learned.

Mr Macron, who is up for re-election in April, flew from Moscow to Kiev yesterday to meet Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for talks at a much more modest table.

French President Emmanuel Macron met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev, Ukraine on Tuesday

He sat down with the Ukrainian leader at a smaller table than he did in Russia with Vladimir Putin

Repeatedly thanking Macron for coming to Moscow, Putin said at a joint press conference that the French leader had presented several ideas worth studying

Vladimir Putin claimed in his meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron yesterday that Russia would ‘do everything to find compromises’ over Ukraine – but again blamed the West for ongoing tensions. Emerging from nearly five hours of talks in the Kremlin, the two leaders – who had sat at least ten feet apart with the help of an enormous table – voiced hope that a solution could be found to the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War 

Mr Macron’s apparent failure to consult allies ahead of the talks with Mr Putin could render any agreement meaningless, sources say. 

His offers included Ukraine becoming neutral, a move that would rule out the former Soviet republic joining Nato. 

Last night, a senior Government source told the Mail that President Macron ‘hasn’t consulted with anyone’ about his peace bid.

A source said: ‘He is doing his own thing, we don’t know what’s happening. He’s gone beyond the Nato position. But it is interesting. 

‘We’ll just have to see how it plays out.’ Some 130,000 Russian troops are poised to strike against Ukraine and take Kiev.

Mr Macron’s neutrality proposal is not supported by Nato or the Ukrainian government.

But following the meeting in Kiev, Mr Macron said he saw the ‘possibility’ for talks with Moscow and Ukraine and ‘concrete, practical solutions’ to prevent war.

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