Ex-NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen slammed Macron over his approach to Ukraine in an interview with the Atlantic.
Rasmussen took aim at Macron over his “disastrous” suggestion that Putin should not be humiliated.
He also criticized Macron’s “unsuccessful” attempts at “telephone diplomacy” with Putin.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who was secretary-general of NATO from 2009 to 2014, did not pull any punches in his assessment of French President Emmanuel Macron’s approach to the Ukraine war and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a new interview with the Atlantic, Rasmussen was especially critical of Macron’s “disastrous” suggestion that the West should avoid humiliating Putin in Ukraine to keep the door open for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict, while excoriating France in terms of the military aid it provided to Kyiv in comparison to other Western powers. He also took aim at Macron’s “unsuccessful” efforts at “telephone diplomacy with Putin.”
Rasmussen, who is also a former prime minister of Denmark, said, “The UK has been an outstanding partner for Ukraine. Next to the US, the UK has been a driving force in helping Ukraine. This should be seen as a contrast to the efforts of another big European country, namely France — partly because of President Emmanuel Macron making those very strange statements about a need to avoid humiliating Putin and because of his telephone diplomacy with Putin: unsuccessful, I would say.”
“If you assess the weapons deliveries from different countries to Ukraine, France has delivered almost nothing. The scale of French deliveries is equivalent to what Denmark has offered—valued at $160 million, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy,” Rasmussen added. “In comparison, Britain has been outstanding.”
Speaking on his opposition to giving Putin what Macron described as an “exit ramp,” the former NATO chief said that the West “reacted too mildly and we sent the wrong message” to the Russian leader following Russia’s invasions of Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.
“He calculated that he could, almost without any cost, grab land from his neighbors,” Rasmussen said of Putin, adding, “That is why Macron’s statement is so disastrous. It suggests that we are approaching a new world order where it’s not the rule of law that matters but the rule of the strongest. If Putin can get away with taking land from Ukraine, that’s horrendous—because what next?”
Rasmussen warned that if Putin is able to get what he wants in Ukraine then it would send a “very bad signal” to China regarding Taiwan.
“The Chinese are following the developments in Ukraine very closely because if Putin can get away with taking Crimea, and maybe the Donbas, and that is settled in a peace deal, then China might interpret that as an invitation to take Taiwan by force,” he said.
This is why Putin shouldn’t be offered an exit ramp in the war, Rasmussen said, and should instead be told that if he wants “to get out of this mess, get out of Ukraine.”
During an interview with French media in June, Macron said, “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means.”
The French leader’s remarks were met with fierce criticism in Ukraine.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s top diplomat, slammed Macron over the comments, tweeting that “calls to avoid humiliation of Russia can only humiliate France and every other country that would call for it.”
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