PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Saturday that the world must prepare for a protracted war between Russia and Ukraine after Moscow launched an invasion of its pro-Western neighbor.
“If I can tell you one thing this morning, it’s that this war will continue,” Macron said at France’s annual agricultural fair.
“This crisis will continue, this war will continue, and all the crises that follow will have lasting consequences,” Macron added, warning: “We must be prepared”.
Macron has cut short a visit to agricultural fairs, usually one of the main events on the French political calendar, in order to revisit the crisis triggered by the Russian invasion.
“The war has returned to Europe, which was unilaterally chosen by President (Vladimir) Putin, the humanitarian situation is tragic, the (Ukrainian) people are resisting, and Europe is resisting on the side of the Ukrainian people,” said Macron.
As the war and sanctions on Russia could damage certain French industries, especially the wine industry, Macron has vowed to develop a “resilience plan” to help them cope.
The French leader, a key figure in efforts to avoid conflict, has spoken to Putin several times and sought in vain to broker a summit between the Russian leader and U.S. President Joe Biden.
As the French presidential elections in April loomed, so did the war.
Macron, who is expected to seek and win a second term, has left an official announcement of his candidacy until the last minute, although he must act next week to register before a March 4 deadline.