French president says Europe can be defended from eastern front.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who arrived on Tuesday in Romania to show support to the French troops at a NATO base, reaffirmed that Paris will do everything in its power to stop the Ukraine war and continue negotiations with Moscow.
Addressing the 500 French troops stationed at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Macron said the French military presence has helped to build a sense of commitment to protecting Europe.
“It is on the eastern front where we can defend Europe as war is waging once again,” he said.
“No one knows what the next weeks and months will give us … we will do everything to continue to stop the Russian war effort to help the Ukrainians and their armies and continue the negotiations,” he added.
France has deployed troops and military equipment on Europe’s eastern front in Romania, Estonia, Poland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina to reinforce NATO’s deterrent and defensive posture.
“War is a reality in Ukraine. It is at the gates of Romania and threatens our entire continent. At the borders of our European Union, to prevent any attempt at destabilization and aggression against Europe, the commitment of our armed forces is fundamental,” Macron said on Twitter.
On the second leg of his eastern Europe tour, the French leader will visit Moldova on Wednesday. There are also unconfirmed reports of Macron making a quick trip to Kyiv, Ukraine alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Before starting on the tour – five days ahead of the final round of the French legislative elections this Sunday – Macron used the opportunity to appeal to the French from the tarmac to give his party a full majority.
“In these troubled times, the choice you will have to make is more crucial than ever,” he said, asking voters to make a clear choice and give a “solid majority.” The opposition condemned him as desperate, dangerous, shameful, and giving an impression of panic.
Macron, who was re-elected in April against the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, needs an absolute majority in the parliament to run the government for the next five years comfortably.
His centrist alliance, Ensemble (25.75%), however, is facing a tough fight with a newly formed alliance of left parties NUPES (25.66%) in the first round of elections. Of the 577-seat parliament, his party needs to win at least 289 seats to get the coveted majority.