President Emmanuel Macron will call counterpart Vladimir Putin after a Group of 20 summit in Bali where the Russian leader is expected to face strong pressure, a French official said Monday.
Macron will also tell China’s Xi Jinping it is in Beijing’s “interest” to “pressure” Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
He will meet the Chinese leader Tuesday morning on the sidelines of the summit on the Indonesian island of Bali and tell him “your interest, like mine, is to put pressure on Russia so it returns to the negotiating table and respects international law.”
Macron held numerous calls with Putin in the early days of the war. The French president’s call with his Russian counterpart on the eve of the invasion was unsuccessful and led to much criticism.
Macron‘s engagement has brought unease from some Eastern European nations wary of Russia although France insists that it has coordinated its diplomacy with allies.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna recently acknowledged the limited success with Putin but said it was important to try.
“We absolutely think it is crucial to keep a channel of communication with those making the decisions in Russia, including President Putin,” Colonna said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“Putin is probably isolated in his very strange vision of the world and the way it could be run. Reinforcing this isolation of his would not be a good option,” she said.
Macron‘s talks with Putin did help secure a mission by the UN nuclear watchdog to travel to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.