Borrell: Macron’s visit to Russia was “a breakthrough element”

In a statement to reporters at the end of his visit to Washington on Tuesday, European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell considered that Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Russia brought with it an “element of détente”, but it did not achieve any “miracle.”

“As long as there is a willingness to sit at the negotiating table and engage in dialogue, I think there will be hope not to engage in a military confrontation,” Borrell said.

He added that Macron’s visit to Moscow on Monday and his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin constituted a “positive signal” and a “good initiative”, saying, “I think it constitutes an element of release,” according to the French agency.
But Borrell, despite his optimism, said the problem “has not yet been resolved”.

“President Macron’s visit to Moscow was important, but it did not achieve a miracle,” he added, with no indications of de-escalation by Russia.

He explained that the most important thing for the Russian authorities is not Ukraine, but “the new architecture for security in Europe,” adding that they “oppose this architecture.”

“They are putting pressure on Ukraine to negotiate something important to them, which is NATO expansion and their security concerns,” he added.

The French president had said after meeting Putin that he saw “concrete” solutions to the crisis, and had received assurances from the Russian president that there would be no further escalation.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 soldiers on the border with Ukraine, prompting accusations from the United States and European countries that it is preparing to invade it, but Moscow has denied that it is planning to invade its neighbor.

But the military escalation was accompanied by intense diplomacy to avoid a war, as Borrell described the situation earlier as the most dangerous for Europe since the end of the Cold War.

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