Former French President François Hollande has advised his successor, Emmanuel Macron, to shut up and be quiet when it comes to the war in Ukraine. (Photo by Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images)


‘Shut up and keep quiet,’ Hollande advises Macron over Ukraine


Former French President François Hollande has advised his successor Emmanuel Macron to shut up and keep quiet when it comes to the war in Ukraine.

Hollande gave his advice during a private meeting with Macron on March 6, after the sitting President spooked much of the Western world by suggesting NATO troops could be sent to to fight in Ukraine.

Speaking to the media after the closed-door rendezvous, Hollande explained that his suggestion to Macron was to keep his ideas on Ukraine to himself, as voicing them out loud would likely end up benefiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“My position on military matters is that the less we say, the better we act,” Hollande said.

He added that Macron should work to maintain the West’s broad consensus that Ukraine ought to be supported in its war against Russia. Although he did suggest the French leader’s mulled scheme of deploying NATO troops to do so would be seen as a step too far by most.

“The only possible response is to show that we are with Ukraine in total solidarity … without of course participating in any combat ourselves,” Hollande said.

“It is very important that there be the broadest consensus for supporting Ukraine,” he added, emphasising the importance of maintaining the flow of aid to the country from both France and Europe in general.

The former president’s pep-talk came after previous comments by Macron on Ukraine sparked what soon became a worldwide diplomatic incident.

Speaking at a conference in Paris, he expressed an interest in deploying NATO troops in Ukraine to ensure Russia could not win its war against the country.

“The defeat of Russia is indispensable for security and stability in Europe,” he said, arguing that the possibility of sending military units across the Ukrainian border should not be “excluded”.

Macron’s suggestion prompted condemnation from Russia and loud dismissals from his NATO allies.

Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, said: “This shows the high degree of irresponsibility of Europe’s leaders today, in this case the President of France.

“It is more and more rare that they demonstrate any common sense at all. But these statements are extremely dangerous,” he said.

“They are already taking us to the brink of nuclear war.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, despite Macron’s comments, there was no change regarding Western policy on the conflict.

“There will be no ground troops, no soldiers on Ukrainian soil sent there by European countries or NATO States.”