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French President’s recent comment on Russia criticized by Ukrainian president

Zelenskyy says: 'I don’t really understand… humiliating Russia. For 8 years, they have been killing us. What are we talking about here?'

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The Ukrainian president has criticized his French counterpart’s recent remarks urging the international community “not to humiliate Russia.”

“I don’t really understand… humiliating Russia. For eight years, they have been killing us. What are we talking about here?” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an interview with Financial Times published on Tuesday.

Zelenskyy said French President Emmanuel Macron knows that Russia has failed to implement previous peace agreements under the Minsk process and that these agreements have not ended the fighting in Donbas since 2014.

Macron said on Friday, almost repeating a statement he made in early May: “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also slammed the French leadership on Monday, stating on Twitter, “Calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it. Because it is Russia that humiliates itself. We all better focus on how to put Russia in its place. This will bring peace and save lives.”

In an interview with the Italian public television RAI on May 13, Zelenskyy stated that Macron asked Ukraine to give up some of its lands in order to reach a peace agreement with Russia.

Read more: Why the Ukraine war is the United States’ fault?

When asked about Macron’s idea that Russia should not be “humiliated” in a peaceful solution, Zelenskyy answered angrily, fearing that it would feed animosity and lead to a new war.

“To propose to us to give up something as far as our sovereignty is concerned to save President Putin’s face does not seem like a fair thing on the part of some leaders,” he said.

“We are not ready to save someone’s face paying with our territories, I don’t think it’s fair,” the Ukrainian leader insisted, calling the suggestion “wasted time.”

Read more: Talks with Putin stalled after ‘massacres’ discovered in Ukraine: France

However, he acknowledged that it would be difficult to dislodge Russia from parts of Ukraine it controlled prior to the war, such as Crimea and other eastern territories.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk