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France's Macron says he wants Russia defeated, not crushed

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France's Macron says he wants Russia defeated, not crushed
French President Emmanuel Macron makes a statement at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on February 17, 2023. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview released Saturday that he wanted Russia to be defeated in its war with Ukraine, but not "crushed".

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He was speaking after returning from the Munich Security Conference, where he urged allies to intensify their support for Ukraine, and said France was prepared for a drawn-out conflict.

READ ALSO: European allies vow more support for Kyiv at security meet

"I want Russia to be defeated in Ukraine, and I want Ukraine to be able to defend its position," he told French newspapers JDD and Le Figaro and broadcaster France Inter.

"I am convinced that, in the end, this will not conclude militarily," he added, predicting that neither said could fully prevail in the conflict.

But he did not, like some, want the fight to be taken on to Russian soil.

Such people, he said, "want above all to crush Russia.

"This has never been the position of France and it never will be."

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