Jacques Serais, edited by Solène Leroux with AFP 6:13 p.m., February 25, 2022, modified at 6:13 p.m., February 25, 2022

Following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the current tenant of the Élysée spoke at length this morning with his two predecessors: François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.

The two former presidents highlighted their respective experiences with Vladimir Putin: the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the crisis in Georgia in 2008.

Emmanuel Macron was consulting former presidents François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy today.

François Hollande was received this morning, he spoke at the exit.

The former president spoke for nearly an hour with Emmanuel Macron.

François Hollande who, during his mandate, had in particular had to deal with the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. "I spent days, nights, even with Vladimir Poutine", he explained for highlight his past experience with the master of the Kremlin.

He therefore shared his feelings, his vision, to the point of almost giving advice to Emmanuel Macron.

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"Faced with this threat, faced with this objective pursued by Vladimir Putin, Europe, France and the Atlantic Alliance must be up to it and first of all raise the level of sanctions", he said. he declared on the steps of the Élysée.

"That's what I said to President Macron. What Europe must do is to be respected," he said.

François Hollande who, inside the palace, most certainly met Nicolas Sarkozy received just after Emmanuel Macron. 

François Hollande: “We must raise the level of sanctions.

That's what I said to President Macron.

» @Europe1#UkraineRussiapic.twitter.com/g4HcUrXXm2

— Jacques Serais (@JacquesSerais) February 25, 2022

"The only possible way is diplomacy"

Faced with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, "the only possible way is diplomacy, because the alternative to diplomacy is total war", declared in turn former President Nicolas Sarkozy, supporting the dialogue strategy of Emmanuel Macron who received him for an hour at the Élysée.

"The path of dialogue, of diplomacy is difficult, often disappointing, but there is no alternative. We must therefore continue on this path. And if France does not do it, no one will," said added the former president.

"This is the reason why I approved of President Macron's approach when he went to Moscow," he explained, he who had also favored negotiations with Moscow during the crisis in Georgia in 2008. Nicolas Sarkozy also wanted France to propose the creation of "new multilateral institutions".

"Today, nothing works anymore. NATO doesn't work. The G7 doesn't work. The G20, which I wanted to create, doesn't work. And even the UN, which oscillates between apathy and immobility," he said.

N. Sarkozy: “I do not want to comment on the details of my conversations with President Macron.

The international situation is serious.

I observe that the aggressiveness in international relations continues to be unleashed.

The time for de-escalation must come.

» @Europe1pic.twitter.com/hPLEdOetxt

— Jacques Serais (@JacquesSerais) February 25, 2022

"We are in 2022, it is time to invent the institutions that will allow the multilateralism of the 21st century. But we live with the institutions which are those of the 20th century. It is up to France to propose major initiatives. From any crisis can come out the worst, but sometimes the best," he concluded.