Macron and Scholz Meet, Looking to Patch Up Differences on Ukraine

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron of France met in Berlin on Friday looking to smooth over their differences on how to support Ukraine in its war with Russia and allay concerns that the Franco-German “engine of Europe” is sputtering.

Mr. Scholz hosted Mr. Macron alongside Poland’s prime minister, Donald Tusk, as Europe struggles to maintain unity at a critical moment, with U.S. support for Kyiv in question and Russian forces having made gains on the battlefield.

In recent weeks, the differences between the allies have become unusually public and bitter, even as all agree that support for Ukraine is crucial to preventing further Russian aggression in Europe.

Mr. Macron, eager to stake out a tougher stance toward President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, chided allies not to be “cowards” after they strongly rebuffed his suggestion that NATO countries should not rule out putting troops in Ukraine. From being Europe’s dove on Russia, the French leader, feeling humiliated over his initial outreach to Mr. Putin, has been transformed over the past two years into its hawk.

The way he has made the switch has rankled some allies. Mr. Macron’s remark was interpreted as a jab at Mr. Scholz’s government, which in turn retorted that Mr. Macron ought to put up more money or weapons to back his words.

Mr. Scholz, who has made Germany the largest military supporter of Ukraine after Washington, feels he has offered the material backing necessary and is resistant to doing more. But to the chagrin of even his own coalition partners, he has drawn a line against sending long-range Taurus missiles.

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