Estonian MEP sharply criticizes Macron call for Russia security guarantees

MEP Urmas Paet (Reform).
MEP Urmas Paet (Reform). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Until Ukraine is completely free, with Kremlin war criminals facing an international tribunal, planning any common future involving the Russian Federation is out of the question, MEP Urmas Paet (Reform) says.

Paet made his remarks in response to French President Emmanuel Macron's statement reported at the weekend, calling on the West to consider security guarantees for Russia should its leader, Vladimir Putin, agree to negotiations on ending the war in Ukraine, whose current phase is now in its tenth month.

Paet, a former foreign minister, said: "This is what can be said about Macron's statement: First, Ukraine must become completely free and in control of its entire territory."

"Second, an international tribunal must open, in order to try and convict Russian war criminals. Third, frozen assets of Russian origina must be put towards the reconstruction of Ukraine. And fourth, Russia must express remorse [over the invasion] and issue an apology. Only after that can future plans start," Paet went on.

A similar line was taken in Latvia and Lithuania, UK daily The FT reports.

Artis Pabriks, Latvia's deputy prime minister, said that to grant Russia security guarantees would be to: "Fall into the trap of Putin's narrative, that the west and Ukraine are responsible for this war and Russia is [an] innocent victim."

Meanwhile, former Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevicius, tweeted that Russia: "Has all security guarantees if it doesn't attack, annex or occupy its neighbors."

"If anyone wants to create a new security architecture that allows a terrorist state to continue its methods of intimidation, they should think again, it will jot [sic] fly," Linkevicius continued.

Meanwhile, former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb, also expressed his opposition to Macron's statements - like Paet actually referring to the French leader by name - adding that: "The only security guarantees we should focus on are essentially non-Russian."

"Russia needs first to guarantee that it does not attack others. Only then can we begin discussions on European Security," Stubb continued, again on Twitter.

In remarks broadcast Saturday, the French President said the West should consider how to address Russia's need for security guarantees, should President Vladimir Putin agree to negotiations on ending the war in Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Macron was speaking to French TV channel TF1 during an official visit to the US last week, noting that addressing Russian fears of NATO and its weaponry right on Russia's doorstep was "essential" in preparing for Europe's security architecture in future.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had last week said that Europe should resolve common security concerns with Russia, again if Russia renounces aggression against Ukraine and other neighboring states.

Ukraine's  Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov on Sunday questioned why security guarantees should be granted "to a terrorist and killer state," by "someone."


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Aleksander Krjukov

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