PARIS: Diplomatic efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron in response to the war in Ukraine were a failure and deeply harmful to Kyiv, according to an interview published on Friday by former NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was one of the world's most-senior diplomats until he left the transatlantic defence alliance in 2014, according to French magazine Le Point.
His comments came after critics in eastern Europe, about how Macron kept an open line with Russian President Vladimir Putin with direct phone calls even after the invasion of Ukraine, and has warned against humiliating Russia.
Macron astonished us at the beginning of the crisis with his unique and critical statement that Putin should not be humiliated and offered an exit ramp. He added that such statements were disastrous and deeply harmful.
The French presidential office did not respond to a request for comment.
Rasmussen's broadside comes at a time when Macron is recalibating his message and striking a firmer tone against Moscow.