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Macron - France wants Russia's defeat, but not to 'crush' it

A joint statement during the Munich Security Conference

PARIS (Reuters) - France wants Russia to be defeated in Ukraine but it does not want to "crush" it, President Emmanuel Macron told paper Le Journal du Dimanche.

"I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil. Those observers want to, above all else, crush Russia. That has never been the position of France and it will never be our position," Macron said in an interview published on Saturday.

Macron has drawn criticism from some NATO allies for delivering mixed messages regarding his policy on the war between Ukraine and Russia, with some considering Paris a weak link in the Western alliance. On Friday, Macron urged allies to step up military support for Ukraine.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)