Emmanuel Macron says Putin is ' not unpleasant' in bizarre media interview

Emmanuel Macron has said that Russian president Putin is 'not an unpleasant' man
Emmanuel Macron has said that Russian president Putin is 'not an unpleasant' man

The French president Emmanuel Macron says Putin is ‘not an unpleasant’ man before giving Kyiv more military support

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Emmanuel Macron has said the “paradox” of Russian President Vladimir Putin is that he is not an “unpleasant” man in person.

The French leader came out with the bizarre comment while appearing on Saturday’s episode of Rencontres du Papotin, a programme where autistic journalists interview famous people.

In the interview, which was recorded in late November, he said: “First of all, when you meet him, he is not unpleasant. That’s the paradox, you see.”

Macron has vowed to Ukrainians that France will 'help you to victory'
Macron has vowed to Ukrainians that France will 'help you to victory'

Macron has been an advocate of maintaining a dialogue with Putin since his invasion of Ukraine and over the summer declared that Western governments should not “humiliate” the Russian president.

But in recent days, Macron became the first Western leader to agree to send armoured vehicles to Ukraine – something President Zelensky has repeatedly requested.

The French president also vowed to Ukrainians that France will “help you to victory” in his New Year’s TV address.

France is now set to send over the AMX-10 RC, an armoured reconnaissance vehicle with high mobility, which is armed with a 105mm cannon and has a crew of four.

Zelensky thanked Macron in a video address saying: "This is something that sends a clear signal to all our partners – there is no rational reason why Ukraine has not yet been supplied with Western tanks.”

Both the US and Germany said they would send armoured vehicles just hours later.

Macron has been an advocate for maintaining dialogue with Putin
Macron has been an advocate for maintaining dialogue with Putin

In the interview on Les Rencontres du Papotin, Macron also said Mr Putin’s goal in invading Ukraine was to land grab.

He said: “I think there is nothing to justify starting a war. Basically he launched this war to recover territories and to extend Russia’s perimeter to the empire that once existed.

"He took a very heavy responsibility for him, his people, obviously for the people of Ukraine and for us all. This is how I see things.”