The French president has claimed that Ukraine is ?protecting Europe? and deserves assurances from NATO
French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that Ukraine is "protecting Europe" and should be provided with security guarantees by NATO.
"That is why I'm in favor... of offering tangible and credible security guarantees to Ukraine," Macron said on Wednesday at a forum in Bratislava, Slovakia. He added that it would be in the interest of NATO members to provide such assurances while Kiev awaits approval to join the Western military alliance.
France and other Western powers have provided billions of dollars' worth of military aid to Ukraine since the conflict with Russia began in February 2022. However, they have stopped short of offering the blanket protection afforded to NATO members. Article 5 of the bloc's founding treaty stipulates that an attack on one member is considered an attack on all.
"We have to build something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership," Macron said. The French president, who once described the Brussels-based alliance as "braindead," said the Ukraine crisis had "jolted NATO awake."
Macron called on the bloc's members to "intensify" military aid to Kiev so it would have everything it needs for an effective counter-offensive against the Russian forces.
While acknowledging that US contributions have been key in enabling Ukraine to defend itself, Macron argued that Europe must build up its own defense industry rather than relying on Washington for protection.
Polish leaders have criticized Macron in the past for negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that the West should avoid "humiliating" Russia.
Moscow, meanwhile, has repeatedly said that it views NATO's expansion eastward as a threat and has named Ukraine's neutrality as one of the conditions for a lasting peace.