Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that French leader Emmanuel Macron urged him to give up some sovereignty to end the conflict with Russia.
Despite statements by the Ukrainian leader, the Elysee insists that French President Emmanuel Macron has never asked Volodymyr Zelensky to make territorial concessions to end the ongoing conflict with Russia.
During a Thursday interview with Italian television station Rai 1, Zelensky accused Macron of suggesting that an effort be made to look for a way out for Russia so that the fighting in Ukraine could stop.
The proposal to give up some of our sovereignty in order to save Russian President Vladimir Putin's face doesn't seem right, according to some leaders. When asked about his French counterpart's warning that Europe must not humiliate Putin, the Ukrainian president said it was a waste of time.
The French presidency has responded to those claims on Friday, insisting that Macron has never asked for concessions from Zelensky. He has always said that it is up to the Ukrainians to decide the terms of their negotiations with the Russians. The President of the Republic has never discussed anything with Vladimir Putin without the agreement of President Zelensky, according to the Elysee.
Macron is one of few Western leaders who have maintained direct dialogue with Putin despite the conflict in Ukraine. He also imposed higher sanctions against Moscow, including tougher restrictions on Russian energy, and authorized shipments of weapons to Kiev.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to retake the two republics by force.