Paris, Mar 15 (EFE).- France’s president Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday rejected creating a no-fly zone above Ukraine, saying it would risk a direct confrontation with Russia.
Macron’s remarks came in response to calls made by a group of Ukrainian refugees during a visit to a reception center in western France.
“I have immense respect for the demands that have been made of us,” the French leader told reporters.
“They are legitimate, but the decision that we have made and that I accept is not to go to war with Russia,” he added.
Ukraine has repeatedly appealed for a no-fly zone over the war-ravaged country, but Nato has refused taking that step to prevent a direct conflict with Russia.
The European Union’s priority was to impose massive sanctions against Moscow, provide Ukraine with humanitarian and military support and diplomatically isolate Russia, Macron said.
Macron pointed out that he holds frequent phone conversations with his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an effort to find a solution to the conflict.
France is prepared to receive 100,000 Ukrainians, according to Macron, who reaffirmed solidarity with countries receiving large numbers of refugees such as Moldova.
“The French have massively responded to help and welcome the Ukrainian refugees, with humanitarian aid or accommodation”, Macron said on Twitter, adding that a national refugee sponsorship program “has already received nearly 33,000 offers. For this surge of solidarity: thank you.” EFE