(PatriotWise.com)- During his one-on-one meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was prepared to continue negotiating Russia’s security demands in Eastern Europe, but warned that a full-scale war with the West was possible.
Putin and Macron met for five hours at the Kremlin Monday evening. And in a late-night joint press conference afterward, said the proposals made by Macron were “too early to speak about,” but conceded the talks could create “a foundation for our further steps.”
President Putin again warned that if Ukraine is allowed to join NATO, it would be an existential threat, adding a NATO-allied Ukraine would try to retake Crimea and war would be the result.
When asked if Russia would invade Ukraine, Putin refused to rule out the possibility. He insisted Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky implement the 2015 peace plan negotiated in Minsk. This peace deal could give the Kremlin a way to influence Ukrainian foreign policy.
The two presidents held the quickly-arranged talks Monday evening. They spoke one-on-one with no additional aides in the room.
President Macron said he had coordinated with Western allies including Germany and the United States before the meeting. But some criticized Macron for being too solicitous of Putin’s demands.
Before the meeting, Macron told reporters that one of the “models on the table” was a “Findlandization” of Ukraine.
During the Cold War, Finland was able to maintain its independence from the Soviet Union only on the condition that it remain neutral. By suggesting a “Findlandization” of Ukraine, Macron was implying the West would agree not to allow Ukraine to join NATO, leaving Russia to exercise considerable influence in the country.
After Monday’s meeting, Macron didn’t address this particular “Findlandization” model with reporters, however, he did emphasize his belief that Russia’s concerns can be addressed without compromising the core principles of the West.
Macron said the West and Russia have to move beyond the traumas of the past to find “useful solutions.” He said his “first priority” in meeting with Putin was to avert war “in the short term.” But Macron added that he doesn’t believe NATO alone can “solve the whole question” of Europe’s “collective security.”