The French foreign minister says there would be “collective guilt” if nothing is done to help civilians in Mariupol, the Ukrainian city besieged by Russian forces.
“Mariupol is a striking example of a military siege, and military sieges are horrible wars because civil populations are massacred, annihilated. The suffering is terrible,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told the Doha Forum international conference on Sunday.
“This is why there needs to be at least one moment when the civilian population can breathe,” he said, adding that this was what the French President Emmanuel Macron was working to secure.
Macron said on Friday he was seeking to hold more talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in coming days about the situation in Ukraine and the initiative to help people leave Mariupol.
Ukraine and Russia agreed two “humanitarian corridors” to relocate civilians from frontline areas on Sunday, including allowing people to leave by private car from Mariupol, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.