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Reuters: Macron to ask for help from Beijing in establishing truce between Ukraine and Russia during Olympics 2024

Despite a tradition of peace, Russia reacted cautiously to French President Macron’s proposal for a truce during the Paris Olympics, citing concerns over potential Ukraine’s violation, although no evidence of Kyiv breaching peace agreements was provided.
The image shows the Olympic Games symbol on Trocadero place in front of the Eiffel Tower celebrating the upcoming Paris 2024 summer Olympics. Credit: depositphotos.com
Reuters: Macron to ask for help from Beijing in establishing truce between Ukraine and Russia during Olympics 2024

On 16 April, the Kremlin reacted coolly to French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for a truce in international conflicts during the Paris Olympics, saying Ukraine might use it as an opportunity to regroup and rearm, Reuters reported.

Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia would be asked to observe a ceasefire in Ukraine during the Paris Olympics because suspending armed conflicts under an “Olympic truce” is a longstanding tradition.

Asked about a truce, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that both Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the Russian military had noticed that, as a rule, Kyiv “uses such ideas, such initiatives to try to regroup, to try to rearm, and so on and so forth.”

However, he did not cite any specific cases where Ukraine breached the agreements. Russia began its all-out war on 24 February 2022, when Putin launched what he called a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and there has been no truce during that period.

Peskov did not go as far as ruling out an Olympic truce but said no one had yet made any official steps in that regard.

In a recent interview, Macron said France would “do everything” to achieve a truce in the wars in Ukraine, Gaza, and Sudan and that he would engage Chinese President Xi Jinping on the matter.

“It is an opportunity on which I will try to involve many of our partners. The Chinese president is coming to Paris in a few weeks, I will ask him to help me,” he said.

Peskov, in reply to a separate question about China, said Beijing’s position on the Ukraine conflict was “very balanced and constructive.”

This week, a new US intelligence assessment said China provides Russia with significant quantities of components that are enabling Moscow to ramp up its military production and capabilities for the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Since 2022, the front lines in Ukraine have not shifted dramatically, but Russia has regained the initiative since capturing the town of Avdiivka in February.

Ukrainian forces are facing shortages in weapons supply, including a lack of ammunition, as military aid crucial for Kyiv has been halted in the US Congress. Recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said Russia may launch a major offensive in late spring or summer and called on the West to provide more assistance to Ukraine.

Earlier, the International Olympic Committee condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Nonetheless, it allowed Russian athletes to participate in the Olympics, which will take place this year in Paris, in a decision that Ukraine has strongly criticized.

Appeasement gets an Olympic Gold

In January 2023, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the International Olympic Committee is “sweeping Russian war crimes under the rug” and “trampling on the graves of thousands of innocent people” by allowing Russian athletes to take part in the 2024 Olympic Games in neutral status.

The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have released a joint statement expressing “deep concern” over the International Olympic Committee’s recommendation to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete under a “neutral” flag at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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