Unity, support for Ukraine and European sovereignty. In Slovakia, Emmanuel Macron tried on Wednesday May 31 to reassure his Eastern European counterparts who fear that concessions will be made to Russia to end the war more quickly. The Head of State delivered a speech at the beginning of the afternoon at the Globsec forum in Bratislava, focusing on regional security issues, a first for a French president, one month before the NATO summit in Vilnius, the July 11-12. NATO Heads of State and Government will have to reaffirm their political and military support for Ukraine, which has been plagued for fifteen months by a Russian offensive which is also worrying neighboring countries from the Soviet glacis.

Here is what to remember from Emmanuel Macron’s speech this Wednesday.

Emmanuel Macron asserted that the West must provide “tangible and credible security guarantees to Ukraine” by being “much more ambitious” than hitherto. “This will be the subject of collective discussions in the coming weeks”, between now and the NATO summit in July in Vilnius, said the French president. According to him, Ukraine “today is protecting Europe” and it is “endowed with so many armaments” that it is in the Western interest “that it have credible security guarantees with us in a multilateral framework. “.

On the European issue, Emmanuel Macron called on the EU to rethink its governance and “invent several formats” to meet the membership aspirations of Eastern European and Balkan countries. “This is the only way to meet the legitimate expectation of the Western Balkans, Moldova and Ukraine to enter the European Union and to maintain geopolitical efficiency,” he said. the day before a summit of the European Political Community in Chisinau bringing together 47 countries.

For Emmanuel Macron, a “Europe of defense” – “European pillar within NATO” – is “indispensable” to be “credible over time”, the Head of State calling on Europeans to equip themselves with a “deep strike capability” and to purchase European weapons. “It is up to us Europeans in the future to have our own ability to defend ourselves and manage our neighborhoods,” he said at the Globsec forum in Bratislava. “Our geography will not change”, “Russia will remain Russia with the same borders”, and “we need to build a space” that can “allow us to coexist in the most peaceful way, without any naivety, with Russia tomorrow,” he pleaded.

Emmanuel Macron, who had judged in 2019 that NATO was in a state of “brain death”, estimated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “woken it with the worst electroshock” by invading Ukraine. “Today we need to help Ukraine by all means to carry out an effective counter-offensive,” he said. ” This is essential. This is what we are doing. We must intensify it because what is at stake in the coming months is the very possibility of a chosen and therefore lasting peace,” added the French President.