Mr Hollande accused Mr Macron of being too indulgent towards the Russian leader who has invaded Ukraine and triggered a major gas crisis across Europe. Mr Hollande, who led France until 2017, slammed Mr Macron and Ségolène Royal, his long-standing companion and former cabinet minister, for being too soft on the Russian President and being fooled by him. Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Mr Macron has since tried to ease tensions with Russia by calling Putin but has so far failed to bring about a resolution to the conflict.
Mr Hollande told Inter radio in France: “Emmanuel Macron is typical of a part of the political class which has always been quite indulgent, not to Russia but to Vladimir Putin.”
He added for this “political class”, that their thinking was that “in reality, it’s our fault and that we didn’t talk enough to Putin, that we are supposed to have encircled him and even attacked him”.
The former French leader accused his successor of being duped by Putin in the numerous telephone conversations and meetings held with him.
He said: “I had numerous talks with him [Putin] and what always struck me was his capacity for spouting lies.”
In their last phone call, Mr Macron and Putin agreed on the need to send a delegation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant where the risk of a nuclear disaster escalated amid shelling.
According to a Kremlin readout of the call, Putin blamed the shelling of the plant on Kyiv, adding that they created the risk of “large-scale catastrophe”.
Meanwhile, Ukraine accused Russian in early August of damaging three power lines that connect the plant to the Ukrainian grid.
The IAEA previously sounded warnings, calling the fighting around the nuclear plant is “very alarming”.
READ MORE: Macron shamed as French energy giant fuels Putin’s war planes
The main risk facing the plant is the loss of power essential to cooling the reactor core and spent fuel pools. If cooling systems failed, the nuclear reaction would slow, while the reactor itself would heat up very quickly.
At such high temperatures, hydrogen could be released from the zirconium cladding, leading to the reactor melting down and radioactive substances released into the environment. Russia recently rejected calls to demilitarise the plant.
Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that he was worried about the danger of “another Chernobyl” disaster erupting at the plant.
Mr Macron was also recently shamed after a French oil company was accused of frequently supplying a refinery which produces fuel for Russian war planes amid the conflict in Ukraine.
TotalEnergies, which part owns the Termokarstovoye field in Russia’s far north along with Russian gas firm Novatek, produces around 600,000 tonnes of gas condensate (similar to crude oil) each month.
According to the NGO Global Witness, this then gets shipped to Gapzrom’s Neft refinery in Omsk, where the condensate gets refined into products such as petrol, or jet fuel.