France's Macron believes Putin broke his commitments on Ukraine

The decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) to escalate the situation in Ukraine needs to be sanctioned, said French President Emmanuel Macron. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS, AFP) - French President Emmanuel Macron considers that Russian President Vladimir Putin has broken his commitments, and that his decision to escalate the situation in Ukraine needs to be sanctioned, the Elysee palace said on Monday (Feb 21).

It added that Mr Macron wants the European Union to take proportionate and targeted sanctions against Russia for violating international treaties.

"President Putin delivered a historico-political speech that was accusatory (…) and mixed various considerations of a rigid and paranoid nature," a French presidential official told reporters, referring to Mr Putin's comments on Ukraine earlier Monday.

The official, who asked not to named, said further Russian "military actions" were not to be ruled out and added the EU was preparing a list of Russian entities and individuals to sanction in a "proportionate" response.

Mr Macron went as far as possible on the diplomatic path, French officials added, but still wants Friday's planned meeting of Russian and French foreign ministers in Paris to go ahead.

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