Boris Johnson praises Germany’s support for Ukraine – but doesn’t once mention Macron
Boris Johnson praised Germany for its support for Ukraine but did not mention France before a meeting with Emmanuel Macron.
The prime minister warned of “population and politician fatigue” over support for Ukraine in what will be interpreted as a coded rebuke to Mr Macron.
Asked how he felt about the French and German responses to the war in recent weeks, Mr Johnson gave enthusiastic support to Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor.
“I never believed in my lifetime that I would see a German Chancellor step in like Olaf Scholz and send weapons to help Ukrainians protect themselves,” he said.
“He’s made huge, huge progress. We have 4% of our gas coming from Russia, in Germany it’s 40%.
“They face real real pressures, they have to find energy elsewhere. But they do. They make the effort. They make the sacrifice.”
However, Mr Johnson said nothing about the French response to Ukraine, ahead of a bilateral meeting between him and Mr Macron on Sunday afternoon at the G7 summit in Germany.
The French president has been accused of offering too little support to Ukraine and criticized for maintaining an open dialogue with Vladimir Putin during the conflict.
Mr Macron boasted of spending 100 hours on the phone with Mr Putin. The Elysee denied that France hopes to reduce its support for Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday morning, Mr Johnson said: ‘In reality there will be fatigue among people and politicians. I think the pressure is there and the anxiety is there, we have to be honest about that.
“But the most incredible thing about the way the West responded to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was unity.
“NATO has been strong, the G7 has been strong and we continue to be strong.
“But to protect that unity, for it to work, we have to have really, really honest discussions about the implications of what’s going on, the pressures that individual friends and partners are feeling, that people are feeling – whether it’s on the costs of their energy or food or whatever.”