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Macron on war crimes, Taiwan, and Putin's ambitions

Macron: Putin should be investigated for war crimes
Macron: Putin should be investigated for war crimes | 60 Minutes 02:48

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the international community to launch legal initiatives against Russian President Vladimir Putin in light of recent attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. 

During a wide-ranging interview for 60 Minutes this week, correspondent Bill Whitaker asked Macron if Putin should be charged with war crimes. 

"What we have to do now is, number one, to gather all the evidences of these war crimes…" Macron said. "In parallel, we have to launch all the initiatives and the legal initiatives indeed to have such a result. So, my answer is yes."

As winter approaches and Russian attacks on energy supplies increase, Macron said the West must help Ukraine from a "humanitarian, economic, and defense point of view." He pointed to an international conference he is organizing in conjunction with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that will be held in Paris on December 13. The conference, he said, aims to collect generators and assist civilians in restoring schools, hospitals, and other aspects of daily life.

What Macron sees in Putin’s eyes | 60 Minutes 01:53

In 2001, President George W. Bush famously said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw his soul. What, then, does the French president see today?

"I have to say, probably a sort of a resentment," Macron answered Whitaker.

Macron said this resentment toward the West — particularly the U.S. and the European Union — appears to stem from the feeling that the West sought to destroy Russia. This has never been the French outlook, Macron said, but it was Putin's perception.

Macron said he observed this after hours of conversation with the Russian leader.

Before the war, Macron flew to Moscow to meet one-on-one with President Putin in an effort to prevent the war, and since then, he has insisted on maintaining an open dialogue with the Russian leader. 

During these conversations, Macron said he sensed Putin's view of his own destiny. 

"There was this clear awareness of how the Russian people were the great people, great with great history," Macron said. "And his perspective and probably his destiny was to restore, perhaps, an empire."

Macron on China’s aggression toward Taiwan | 60 Minutes 02:24

Because France is the only European country with a significant presence in the Indo-Pacific region, 60 Minutes' Bill Whitaker wanted to know: What does French President Emmanuel Macron think about China's more aggressive stance toward Taiwan?

"It's clear that Taiwan is a question which is [a] matter of concern," Macron said. "It has to be addressed with, I think, a lot of calm and method, and a lot of fairness and respect regarding our strategy. So we are extremely lucid about the situation and extremely attached to preserve the stability of the region."

Macron said his strategy in the region is to preserve France's relationship with key partners, including India, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia. Those countries, Macron said, want to live in "peace and stability." 

Macron said, "No confrontation without being naïve, I would say."

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