Former French President Says Peace Talks With Russia Can Only Occur If Ukraine Makes Progress on Battlefield

On July 7, 2023, France’s former president Francois Hollande declared in an interview with The Times that peace talks between Russia and Ukraine are only possible if the Ukrainian army makes some progress on the battlefield. 

“There can be no possible negotiated solution before there has been Ukrainian progress on the battlefields and so the only thing we can do today is to offer massive help to the Ukrainians to reconquer the most possible territory,” he stated, making reference on Ukraine’s increasingly bungled counteroffensive.

Per the newspaper, he denied allegations of being naive when forging the Minsk agreements, alongside then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in late 2015. Curiously, Hollande and Merkel have both admitted that the drafting of these agreements was a ploy to “freeze” the conflict in order to give the Ukrainian army time to reconstitute itself and prepare for a future conflict against russia. 

He argued that EU leaders hoped until the last moment that “reason will carry the day” and that the conflict in Ukraine would subside. “Emmanuel Macron did everything possible to woo [Russian President Vladimir] Putin for a time” until the Russian government launched its special military operation. “And then, after a few weeks, Emmanuel Macron understood that we had to be tough, and now he is tough,” Hollande added, 

He also noted that after Russia launched its military incursion into Ukraine, French politicians who used to be sympathetic to Russia changed their tune. He cited the example of Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Rally parliamentary group and perennial presidential and who has been viewed as agent of the Russian government, of trying to distance herself from Russia. 

Hollande’s sentiments are delusional to say the least. Ukraine will not make any significant progress against Russia. Simply put, Russia holds significant escalatory dominance in this conflict theater by virtue of its larger, more well-equipped forces. Sending additional military aid to Ukraine will merely prolong the inevitable and may lead to the utter destruction of the modern-Ukrainian state. 

To secure peace in Ukraine, Western leaders will have to halt military aid to it. Simple as.

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