Ukraine war 'is your problem too', Macron tells Asia-Pacific countries

Ukraine war 'is your problem too', Macron tells Asia-Pacific countries

French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Asia-Pacific countries to join the "growing consensus" against the war in Ukraine, stressing that the war was also "their problem".

"France's number one priority is to contribute to peace in Ukraine and to try to have a global dynamic to put pressure on Russia," he told the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economic leaders' summit in Bangkok on Friday.

"France is not only focused on supporting Ukraine and we will continue to support it," the president said in a speech given in English.

Macron added that France wants to "work very closely with different countries like China, India, the whole region, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, to create a growing consensus and say: 'this war is also your problem because it is going to create a lot of destabilisation'".

"Help us to send this message to Russia: 'stop the war, respect the international order, come back to the (negotiating) table'," he said.

Macron was invited to the APEC summit as a guest by the host country, Thailand.

On Thursday he called for a restoration of the global order and an end to confrontation, both in Ukraine and also in Asia. Speaking to a business conference on the sidelines of APEC, he said friction between the biggest economies, the US and China, was forcing countries to take sides.

“There is no stability or peace except one based on international order and respect," the French president said.

The APEC gathering is the third back-to-back meeting of world leaders this week after the summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations last week in Cambodia and the G20 leading economies, which wrapped up on Wednesday in Indonesia.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday that he saw signs of a "convergence" in views about how to move forward in solving the world's problems, after meetings of foreign and commerce ministers ahead of the summit.

Whether that might enable Thailand to produce a final joint statement after the summit's closed-door sessions remained to be seen; consensus generally is required among the 21 APEC members, including Russia.

None of the earlier APEC preparatory meetings this year issued statements due to disagreements over whether to mention the conflict.

But G20 leaders did manage a show of unity when China and India, after months of refusing to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, did not impede the release of a statement that harshly criticised Moscow.

With both President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin absent, Chinese President Xi Jinping is the star attendee in Bangkok.

Speaking on Thursday to the business conference, which was largely closed to media apart from outlets sponsoring the event, Xi warned against a “new Cold War" and attempts to dismantle supply chains built over decades.