Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki publicly criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for negotiating with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched a brutal invasion of Ukraine more than a month ago.
Poland has called on the international community to impose harsher sanctions on Russia and to provide more military supplies to Ukraine.
“Mr. President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin, what have you achieved? Have you stopped any of the actions that have taken place?” Morawiecki said at a press conference on Monday, Reuters reported.
“One should not negotiate with criminals, one should fight them,” he said. “Nobody negotiated with Hitler. Would you negotiate with Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot?”
Macron’s office responded by saying it is important for Putin to understand Western demands.
“From the onset, the president has used all available means to make Putin stop the war: massive sanctions, support to Ukraine, demands made directly to President Putin during their calls,” the French president’s office said, Reuters reported.
Macron has spoken with Putin at least 16 times since Jan. 1.
Morawiecki called out Macron less directly late last week.
“Some EU leaders are treating the sanctions as a smokescreen for their inaction,” he tweeted. “The sanctions are supposed to bring Ukraine peace, not to appease Europe’s guilty conscience. The sanctions are supposed to stop Putin. If they haven’t it means they are not robust enough!”
The Polish leader added that the European Union Council needed to confiscate the assets of Russia and its oligarchs and stop buying Russian fossil fuels.
Macron on Monday said that it is “his wish” to have all Russian coal and oil exports to the EU blocked “this week” after evidence of possible war crimes emerged from Bucha, CNN reported.
“Those who are behind these crimes must answer for them,” he stated.
“We must send the signal very clear that it’s our collective dignity and it’s our values that we defend,” the French president added. “There’s no peace without justice.”