French President Emmanuel Macron called Russia “one of the last imperial colonial powers” because of its invasion of Ukraine.
What happened: Macron, speaking in Benini on Wednesday as part of his African tour, he said Wladimir Putin had unleashed “a new kind of hybrid world war” by invading Ukraine.
“Russia is one of the last imperial colonial powers that decided to invade a neighboring country to protect their interests,” he said.
Macron has been in Africa trying to reshape his country’s relations with the continent, where many countries are former French colonies. His remarks came during a press conference with his Beninese counterpart Patrice Talon in Cotonou. France colonized Benin – a small West African country – in 1894, which later gained full independence from France in 1960.
“Russia launched an offensive against Ukraine. This is a territorial war that we thought had vanished from European soil. It’s a war of the early 20th century, even the 19th century,” Macron said.
“I speak on a continent that has suffered from colonial imperialism,” added Macron.
“They have decided that information, energy and food are military tools put at the service of an imperialist continental war against Ukraine,” he said.