Are There Signs of a Breakthrough in the Russian-Ukrainian Crisis?
US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron walk down the Colonnade at the White House in Washington, DC, on Dec. 1, 2022. (Ludovic Marin/ AFP via Getty Images)

Are There Signs of a Breakthrough in the Russian-Ukrainian Crisis?

Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, December 10

The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to the United States, which lasted three days, had many connotations and meanings. US President Joe Biden’s celebration of the French president and his wife also had many dimensions. Diplomatic officials said that Biden’s celebration of the French president came after the latter warned Biden of the dangers France would face because of the growing Washington-Beijing rivalry. Biden hosted Macron with great honor. The state visit ceremony opened with the firing of artillery shots, playing the two national anthems, and a meeting in the Oval Office that was followed by a press conference. In his speech at the White House, President Biden said that Washington couldn’t ask for a better partner than France to work with, stressing that the alliance with France remains the basis for stability in the world. Macron stressed that Paris and Washington should become sisters in arms in the face of the war in Ukraine. The surprise of the visit came when Macron announced to the American ABC network that he would hold telephone talks in the coming days with his Russian counterpart Putin, despite the Kremlin’s announcement that the Russian president’s agenda does not include time for telephone conversations with the president of France. Macron also stated, during his visit to Washington, that permanent peace must be reached to put an end to the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, stressing that Putin made a big mistake by entering this war. On the other hand, US President Biden stated that he had previously spoken with Putin to pressure him to end the war, but Putin hasn’t done anything to confirm his seriousness about this effort so far. Biden added: “In this case, consulting with our French allies, the rest of NATO members, and the Ukrainian president will be useful before any meeting with Putin.” Biden further stated that he is pleased to sit with Putin but demanded that the Russian president be ready to first withdraw his forces from Ukraine, to demonstrate the seriousness of his intentions. Many believe that the coming months may usher in a further rapprochement between the United States, NATO countries, Ukraine, and Russia. In any case, the coming period will witness an effort of the European public to pressure governments to negotiate a peace treaty in Ukraine. Political and economic conditions might certainly be ripe for such a truce. The Russian ruble is again declining, and the Russian economy, following a year of war, is suffering a lot. In addition, Europe is exhausted by this war, after a long struggle with inflation and rising unemployment. Therefore, there is widespread hope that this war, which has exhausted all the countries of the world, will finally come to an end in the early part of 2023. –Samir Farag (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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