President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday criticized the Polish prime minister after he criticized the French leader for repeating talks with Russia’s Putin.
On Monday, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke of many of Macron’s phone calls with Putin, whom he likened to Hitler, and said they achieved nothing.
“These claims are both baseless and scandalous,” Macron told TF1 on Wednesday night when asked about remarks that threaten to undermine EU unity in the bloc’s confrontation with Moscow over the issue. Ukraine topic.
He said the Polish leader belongs to a “far right party” and is “supporting” his rival Marine Le Pen in this month’s French presidential election.
“I take full responsibility for speaking with the president of Russia, in the name of France, to avoid war and build a new architecture for peace in Europe a few years ago,” he added.
“I did that from the beginning of my tenure,” he added: “I was never naive, unlike others. I was never complicit, unlike others.”
Macron has sought to target Le Pen’s links to Russia, highlighting repeatedly that she borrowed a sum from a Russian bank that her National Elections party is still repaying.
Le Pen has sought to distance herself from Moscow, which she visited before the last election in 2017 to meet Putin.
She lobbied for the EU to lift sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea in 2014 and has expressed admiration for Putin in the past.
Also speaking to TF1, Le Pen called on France to withdraw its ambassador from Moscow following the alleged murder of Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha by the Russian military.
“If there really is evidence, then we need to be very firm,” she said.
Polls show Le Pen gaining a quick advantage over Macron ahead of Sunday’s first round of voting in the French election.
– Risk diplomacy –
Macron’s investment in diplomatic negotiations with Putin sent him soaring in the polls in March, but since then he has faltered in a campaign that has increasingly focused on inflation risks in France.
In the interview on Wednesday night, Le Pen repeated his pledge to cut taxes on fuel and essential food items, and promised to ban the Muslim headscarf in all public spaces. add.
The euroceptic nationalist also said she would refuse to stand in front of the EU flag for her official portrait if elected president because “my job is not as governor of a European region. “
In his comments on Monday, Poland’s Morawiecki criticized several European leaders, including Macron.
“How many times have you negotiated with Putin and what have you achieved?” he said, addressing the French leader.
“We don’t discuss, don’t negotiate with criminals. Criminals have to fight against.
“Nobody negotiates with Hitler. Do you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot?”
Morawiecki also called for new Western sanctions against Russia and compared Putin to past dictators.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)