Emmanuel Macron
© Getty Images / Christian Liewig - CorbisFrench president Emmanuel Macron
The EU must maintain its support for Ukraine and prevent Russia from winning on the battlefield despite rising doubts about Kiev's future, insisted French President Emmanuel Macron in an interview with the broadcaster France 5 on Wednesday.

The French leader stated that Western countries together with Ukraine had managed to win "strategic victories" such as preventing Russian forces from advancing deeper into Ukrainian territory, including previously neutral Finland into NATO, and launching the accession process for Sweden to also join the US-led military bloc.

Comment: Only a fool would put these events in the "victories" category.

However, at the same time, he admitted that the US and the EU were "less successful" in collapsing the Russian economy through sanctions and limiting imports of Russian energy. Macron blamed this failure on countries allegedly helping Russia circumvent Western sanctions.

Comment: Everyone, including France, plays the circumvention game because were Western European countries to actually stop using Russian energy, instead of doing so in name only, their economies and societies would collapse in a week.

Moscow itself has repeatedly stated that the West's sanctions have effectively backfired on those who imposed them. Meanwhile, the restrictions have been "not so painful" for Russia, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also pointed out last month that EU companies had lost at least $260 billion due to the embargoes and that the bloc itself had become dependent on "expensive American energy," causing an industrial crisis.

Nevertheless, Macron insisted that the West must not weaken its support for Ukraine and stressed that "important decisions will have to be made in the coming months," without specifying which decisions he was talking about.

"We adhere to the line of supporting Ukraine, protecting its territorial integrity in order to prevent Russia from winning and avoiding geographic and nuclear escalation. We have been able to adhere to this line over the past two years," Macron said.

At the same time, the French president admitted that there were doubts within some European countries and even in the US about the actual future of Ukraine. He noted that these concerns were being exacerbated by the "uncertainty associated with the political situation in the US," where former President Donald Trump is leading the polls as he seeks reelection next year.

Leading up to next year's presidential race, Trump has repeatedly signaled that he would cut off funding to Ukraine if he returns to the White House. US aid to Kiev has also been a sticking point for a large number of congressional Republicans, who are currently blocking President Joe Biden from sending an additional $60 billion to Ukraine, demanding stricter policies along the US-Mexico border and tougher immigration control.