Macron said he would continue to “talk to Russia” despite the criticism

At the same time, he called on China to condemn the "imperialist war" in Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he will continue to “talk to Russia” despite the criticism he has drawn over the matter. At the same time, he called on China to condemn the “imperialist war” in Ukraine, reported France Presse, quoted by BTA.

“All our countries must stand for one position – that of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity … regardless of what friendships or alliances they maintain,” Macron said at a reception at the Elysee Palace on the occasion of the Lunar New Year. He added that although he has been criticized for talking to Russia, he will continue this dialogue.

Macron is one of the few Western leaders who continue to maintain contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the attack on Ukraine on February 24 last year, AFP notes.

He asked rhetorically how a free and stable world order could be preserved “if we turn a blind eye to an imperialist war.” AFP took those words of his to an audience of businessmen, cultural figures, and university professors with ties to Asia as an allusion to China.

Beijing and Moscow present themselves as a geopolitical counterweight to the West, led by Washington.

Under sanctions since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has sought to strengthen its ties with China, which has not explicitly condemned the war.

Earlier last night, the French President and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, specifically in a key sector such as energy. Sudani met with representatives of major French companies yesterday after signing a “strategic partnership agreement” with Macron on Thursday.

Iraq is rich in oil and gas and could offset Russia as a supplier to Europe.

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