Macron’s announcements after a European summit in Brussels

Emmanuel Macron, gives a press conference after a European Council in Brussels, Belgium, Friday March 25, 2022.

It is an unprecedented operation announced by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, on Friday March 25. “We are going, in conjunction with Turkey and Greece, to launch a humanitarian operation to evacuate all those who wish to leave Mariupol”he declared at the end of a European summit in Brussels, specifying that he had to discuss the subject with Russian President Vladimir Putin, “within forty-eight to seventy-two hours”

Read also: War in Ukraine live: Ukrainian counter-attacks around kyiv, dramatic situation in Mariupol

“We are driving it. There were very concrete discussions with the mayor of Mariupol and all those who are present on the Ukrainian authorities’ side.declared the French president, during a press conference.

“I hope to be able to involve as many stakeholders as possible in this operation”continued the French president, ensuring to put “in capacity” to conduct this evacuation “in the next few days”.

Mr. Macron claimed that the “Elysée teams” had exchanged Friday with the mayor of Mariupol, “city of more than 400,000 inhabitants which today only has 150,000 inhabitants” living “in dramatic situations”.

More than 2,000 civilians were killed in Mariupol, according to a latest report communicated by the town hall. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, some 100,000 people are still stranded in this strategic port on the Sea of ​​Azov which is besieged by Russian troops.

Satellite image of Mariupol, March 20, 2022.

Joint purchases of energy products

The leaders of the Twenty-Seven meeting since Thursday in Brussels have given a mandate to the European Commission to make the joint purchase of energy products and to think about a better dissociation of the prices of gas and electricity, declared Friday Mr. Macron .

“Group purchasing, the ability to define long-term contracts together, is the best instrument for lowering the price of our gas”said the French president during a press conference in Brussels.

Food: initiative to help the countries most at risk

European leaders also announced the launch of an EU initiative to alleviate food shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, “breadbasket of Europe”in the most affected countries.

Inspired by the Covax international program for the distribution of vaccines against Covid-19, this program, called “Farm”, aims in particular to increase transparency of global stocks, to ensure a supply to the countries most at risk and to encourage production in the regions. weakened, according to the conclusions of the EU summit.

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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