- Estonian leader Kaja Kalls appeared to attack Emmanuel Macron for calling Putin all the time.
- Macron has spoken to Putin more than any other Western leader since Russia invaded Ukraine.
- “Why talk to him? He’s a war criminal,” Kallas said Friday.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kalls made a thinly-veiled swipe at French President Emmanuel Macron for holding regular phone calls with President Vladimir Putin.
Macron has maintained an open line with Putin, often for hours at a time, since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, most recently holding a call on May 3.
Speaking on Friday, Kallas said world leaders are only validating Putin by speaking to him.
“Why talk to him? He’s a war criminal,” Kallas told the country’s Lennart Meri Conference. “If everyone is constantly calling him, he doesn’t get the message that he’s isolated.”
Though Kallas did not mention Macron by name, her comments came the same day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Italian state media outlet RAI that Macron’s efforts to influence Putin were “in vain.”
In the buil-up to Russia invading Ukraine, and in the early weeks of its invasion, Macron made 10 calls to Putin that lasted a total of 20 hours, according to a tally from Agence France-Presse.
In the interview with RIA, Zelenskyy said that that he was now ready to talk to Putin. “We must find an agreement,” he said.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi also tried to call Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but said in late April that it was “a waste of time and “useless to talk to him.”