Financial TimesFinancial Times

How Macron and the west failed to deter Putin on Ukraine

By Henry Foy

24 Feb 2022 · 4 min read

There were always two big problems with Europe’s latest diplomatic attempts to deter Russia’s President Vladimir Putin from seeking to crush Ukraine and bring it back into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

The first, diplomats say, was the unrealistic hope of French president Emmanuel Macron — who became the west’s chief negotiator in the final days before Putin raised the stakes by recognising two breakaway “republics” in eastern Ukraine — that he could persuade him to “de-escalate” by offering talks about Russia’s strategic concerns.

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