Fact Check: French President Macron Did NOT Call For Ceasefire In Ukraine After Putin's Election Win


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: French President Macron Did NOT Call For Ceasefire In Ukraine After Putin's Election Win Olympics Only

Did French President Emmanuel Macron, spooked by Vladimir Putin's landslide victory in Russia's presidential election, abandon his bellicose rhetoric toward Moscow and call for a ceasefire in Ukraine? No, that's not true: Macron said he would ask Putin to observe a temporary ceasefire during the Olympic Summer Games in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024. His statement came before Russia's elections had wrapped up.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on March 18, 2024, under the title "Has Macron come to his senses? Now he has called for a ceasefire in Ukraine, and the Russians immediately reacted, too" (Translation from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff). The presenter, István Szakács, is a social media influencer who supports Hungary's governing Fidesz party. Szakács said (as translated):

From today, the story is basically that Macron and his ilk were probably threatening a world war and NATO intervention [in Ukraine] in order to weaken Putin... And so the Russian people decided, and Putin got a pretty serious mandate [in the presidential election]. And now this morning, interestingly, taking account of his loss of popularity, Macron is mouthing off in a completely different way. Now, he's talking about how we need peace, how we need a ceasefire in the Ukrainian-Russian war. Putin replied that his presidency's top goal is to finish the special military operation. So, he'll complete what was already planned. So, kids, these are interesting things.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-03-21 at 5.38.56.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Mar 21 04:38:56 2024 UTC)

Macron did not do an about-face in his stance toward Putin, which toughened when the French leader raised the possibility of sending Western troops to the Ukrainian front on February 26, 2024, according to a report by Reuters (archived here). "Nothing should be excluded. We will do everything that we must so that Russia does not win," he said.

Rather, Macron told a Ukrainian journalist he would ask Putin to implement a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine during the Olympic Summer Games, which are set to be held in Paris from July 26 to August 11, 2024, according to a separate article by Reuters (archived here). Speaking through an interpreter, he said (as translated by Reuters):

It will be requested... The rule of the host country is to move in step with the Olympic movement. This is a message of peace. We will also follow the decision of the Olympic Committee.

Macron's interview was broadcast on Ukrainian television on March 16, 2024, Reuters said. Russia's presidential election concluded a day later, with initial tallies showing Putin taking 88 percent of the vote, according to another Reuters report (archived here). This casts doubt on the claim that Putin's victory swayed Macron's views on a ceasefire.

Warring parties have agreed to lay down arms during the Olympics in a tradition that goes back to the 9th century B.C., according to an article on the International Olympic Committee's website (archived here). Kings of Ancient Greece, who were almost always at war with each other, agreed to halt hostilities during the games in what became known as the Olympic Truce, the article says. It adds:
Taking into account the new political reality in which sport and the Olympic Games exist, the IOC decided to revive the concept of the Olympic Truce for the Olympic Games, with a view to protecting, as far as possible, the interests of the athletes and sport in general, and to harness the power of sport to promote peace, dialogue and reconciliation more broadly.
Putin responded to Macron's proposal on March 18, 2024, according to official Russian news agency Tass (archived here). He said:

We are ready to consider all proposals, but always, under all circumstances, we will be guided by national interests and the situation on the battlefield... I've said it before and I will say it again that we favor peace talks, but they should not be organized simply because our adversary is running out of ammo.

Hungary's governing Fidesz party has been pushing for a ceasefire in neighboring Ukraine since the war's outset. On March 31, 2023, Fidesz deputies in Hungary's Parliament passed a resolution (archived here) saying, as translated:

We express our commitment to peace. We expect all members of the international community to act for the sake of peace as soon as possible and to avoid actions that may expand the war.


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