France doesn’t want ‘regime change’ in Russia – Macron

The president still warned China against selling any arms or dual-use goods to Moscow

The US and its allies do not pursue a “regime change” in Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday during a joint press conference with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Paris would still continue to provide aid to Kiev in its ongoing conflict with Moscow for as long as it is “necessary,” the French leader maintained.

Macron was welcoming Xi at the Elysee Palace during the Chinese leader’s visit to Paris, where he met both the French president and the head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Xi and Macron discussed a broad range of topics, including the Ukraine conflict, as well as bilateral trade and economic ties.

During the talks, the French president urged the Chinese leader to make sure his nation does not provide any aid to Moscow that can be used in the conflict with Kiev. Macron said he welcomed Beijing’s commitments “to refrain from selling any arms” or provide “any aid” to Russia in the standoff.

Von der Leyen also said that “more effort is needed to curtail delivery of dual use goods to Russia that find their way to the battlefield,” while admitting that “this does not affect the EU-China relations.”

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Macron maintained it was important to “explain the impact of this conflict on Europe’s security and our determination to support Ukraine for as long as necessary.” At the same time, he stated that the West “does not have a common goal to bring about regime change in Moscow.”

The EU Commission head called on Beijing to “use all its influence on Russia” to stop the ongoing conflict. Macron said he was willing to “maintain a close dialogue” and welcomed Xi’s decision to visit France to “coordinate” the two nations’ positions ahead of the planned visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to China later in May.

A meeting with the Chinese leader “will allow [us] to follow a common agenda and identify whether or not there is a will for a durable peace,” he said.

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French President Emmanuel Macron
Moscow slams France’s ‘belligerent rhetoric’

Xi, in turn, criticized the West for distorting the image of his nation amid the conflict. “China did not create the Ukraine crisis, nor is it a party to it,” he told the joint press conference. “We reject the use of the Ukrainian crisis to cast blame upon others, smear third countries and unleash a new Cold War. As history has repeatedly shown, conflicts can only be resolved by negotiations,” he said, adding that Beijing has “always played a positive role to bring about peace.”

The developments came just days after Macron once again raised the issue of sending NATO troops to Ukraine – an idea he has been repeatedly contemplating since February when he first mentioned such a possibility. The West would have to consider the issue if Kiev officially asks for it, he said last week.

Moscow has repeatedly criticized such statements, warning that sending NATO troops to Ukraine would likely make a direct confrontation between the US-led bloc and Russia inevitable. It also slammed what it called the French leadership’s “belligerent rhetoric” and provocative statements around the Ukraine conflict, warning that they only lead to further escalation.

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