Emmanuel Macron warned about Vladimir Putin 'toying' with him by Ben Wallace

Wallace warned Macron that Putin will "always ask for more"

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned that Russian leader Vladimir Putin could be “toying” with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The two leaders had a telephone conversation last week, following which, Wallace warned Macron that Putin will “always ask for more”.

Talking about his call with the French President, Wallace told the Telegraph: “I think there is no harm in someone trying to talk to President Putin. What I find interesting is, every time he rings President Putin, President Putin asks for more. It's almost as if Putin is toying with him.

"But I genuinely think people should keep lines of communication open to President Putin because of the dangers of escalation.

“I think President Macron is now where everyone else is."

Last week, President Macron declared he would run for a second term in the April French presidential election.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he has seen a surge in support.

This has been largely attributed to his handling of the crisis.

His candidacy announcement came last minute, with it being submitted an hour before the deadline set by the authorities last Friday.

In his interview, Wallace further commented on how the invasion is an opportunity to rethink investment decisions in the UK, particularly when it comes to defence spending.

"What I'm seeing anecdotally at the moment is that armour doesn't fare very well against modern personal weapons, if you can call it that,” he said.

“The proliferation of precision and technology that allows an NLAW (next generation light anti-tank weapon) to destroy tanks such as T-80s has got to mean you ask questions about where you put your investments."

He added that "people might not like the choices we made" as part of last year's defence and security review, but said: "We didn't reduce the size of the army because of [spending] cuts."

He said: “We got £24billion pounds extra. Can we change those choices? I think we'll look at the lessons of Ukraine. And the Prime Minister has always been open to [the idea that] if the threat changes, of course we look at those funding levels."