Despite differences, Paris sees no rift with Berlin over Ukraine

Mar 03, 2024

Despite differences, Paris sees no rift with Berlin over Ukraine

Paris [France], March 3: Despite differing positions on support for Ukraine, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne sees no rift between France and Germany, he said in an interview ahead of talks with his counterpart.
"There is no Franco-German conflict, we agree on 80% of the issues," said Sejourne in an interview with Le Monde newspaper on Saturday.
"There is a will to talk to each other," he said, adding he had spoken to his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock, whom he is due to meet in Paris on Tuesday.
Both France and Germany are key backers of Ukraine in its attempt to fend off the full-scale Russian invasion launched in 2022. Kiev is heavily reliant on Western allies in its struggles, and has repeatedly called for more and heavier weapons to repel Moscow's forces. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues to categorically rule out the delivery of Taurus cruise missiles, while France has already made SCALP missiles, which are similar, available to Kiev and says more will follow.
Going a step further, French President Emmanuel Macron told numerous leaders he would not rule out the deployment of Western ground troops in Ukraine. Many other leaders, including Germany, distanced themselves from the idea and Scholz said from a German perspective, there would be no deployment of ground troops.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has defended his decision not to send soldiers to Ukraine, in comments made during a congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Rome on Saturday. "We will not send European soldiers to Ukraine. We don't want the war between Russia and NATO, and we will do all we can to prevent this," he said.
There was a realization among the Western partners that NATO and none of its countries should become a party to the war, he added. The key to restoring peace in Europe was the West's continued support for Ukraine in its defence against the Russian war, Scholz continued. At the same time, he called for the EU to invest more in its own security and defence, meaning that narrow-minded self-interest must be put aside.
Source: Qatar Tribune