French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking China’s help to figure out a way to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The report cited unnamed people familiar with the plan who said Macron tasked his diplomatic advisor, Emmanuel Bonne, to discuss the idea with China’s top diplomat Wang Yi.
China has emerged as a potential mediator between Russia and Ukraine after Beijing released a 12-point peace plan for the conflict, although Chinese President Xi Jinping has yet to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Unlike President Biden, who immediately rejected the idea of China’s peace initiative, Macron has publicly expressed support for Beijjing’s efforts. During a visit to China last week, Macron said he could “count on” Xi to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table.
While France has followed the EU and NATO in its sanctions against Russia and military support for Kyiv, Macron has repeatedly called for negotiations to end the war. He previously warned against “humiliating” Russia and has said Moscow’s security concerns must be taken into account in a future peace deal.
The sources told Bloomberg that any future negotiations would hinge on a successful Ukrainian counteroffensive, but that appears increasingly unlikely. Some of the leaked Pentagon documents that have surfaced online revealed the US doesn’t think Kyiv can gain any significant territory. European officials have said “dangerously high expectations” have been placed on a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.