At Versailles he was the king. May 29, Emmanuel macron took his Russian counterpart at the Palace of Louis XIV. In the quest to make an impression on Vladimir Putin, the President of France has added to the Republican luxury Shine “the Sun King”. At a joint press conference Makron behaved harshly. He’s not complexed in front of the guru international relations (the Russian leader was in power for 18 years, and the French — only 18 days…), condemned violations of the rights of homosexuals in Chechnya, threatened to strike at Bashar al-Assad if he resorted to a chemical weapon, paced by news website Sputnik and RT, funded by the Kremlin: “the propaganda Organs, organs of influence, the bodies of false propaganda, no more, no less!” Guest saw all this not absolutely dispassionately. “The world stood on its head: the Makron was acting like Putin! jokes Michelle Eltchaninoff (Michel Eltchaninoff), the author sheds light on many of the book “In the mind of Vladimir Putin”. — The President pulled no punches. He definitely felt that the rigidity is a requirement, if you need to gain the respect of Moscow”.
Before the long-awaited meeting of the Russian and French Makron was waiting for an unusually easy case. He officially took office on may 14, and after only ten days was able to meet with three dozen heads of state at the NATO summit in Brussels. The next day he was already waiting at the G7 meeting in Sicily. All these events in front of the cameras immediately cemented his international status. As a result, he could talk on equal terms with Putin, who could not resist aiming him for a few days before the invitation to Versailles. “First of all, the Russian leader wanted to look at the Rules and make your own opinion”, — said well-known with Russia the French diplomat. In addition, to Moscow, which was isolated in the international arena after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it was a great opportunity to rejoin the community of Nations. And what is the result? “The benefit for both parties, says our source. The Makron needed a reputation, and Putin — respectability.”
Now everything goes like clockwork? Yet to judge it too early. “In any case, the Macron has just a day to erase the still vivid memories about the cancellation Hollande Putin’s visit to Paris in October 2016,” — said in impeccable French, a former Soviet diplomat Yuri Rubinsky. — Makron did not dishonor its predecessor, but still gave to understand that everything that has been in force six months ago, is no longer so today.” Connection of Paris and Moscow are restored.
The Russian media for a whole year watered the Emmanuel Macron mud. For example, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” called him mentally unstable person who is under the influence of middle-aged women. However, after a meeting in Versailles, the media just revel in (albeit a little funny) footage of how the President of France carries his colleague in the alleys of the Park on the Golf cart. The Sun king today, says one Russian newspaper.
But that’s all dictated by need: the President of France were the only available interlocutor in the West. Relations with Angela Merkel, with whom Putin is familiar for almost 12 years, now leave much to be desired. Events in Ukraine have put a stamp on their “divorce”. What about Theresa may? She absorbed the effects of Breccia, and the relationship of London to Moscow is very cool here is not the first decade. Finally, Proleskovsky after winning Donald trump hope for a diplomatic rapprochement between Washington and Moscow are now completely faded: after an extended FBI accusations about alleged Russian ties around the President of the United States, that certainly didn’t mean to be a Russophile. In addition, the Republican party is against rapprochement with Moscow. On top of the picture the Kremlin believes trump is unpredictable and fickle partner. There is only the Makron.
The macron, in turn, is not peculiar to the same love for Russia as françois Fillon (François Fillon) and marine Le Pen (Marine Le Pen), but Russophobe his way. To verify this, just look what he writes in the book “Revolution”: “We need to lay a new Foundation of relations with Russia. (…) In the near future to solve the Crimean problem will not work. We need to work with Russia to stabilize its relations with Ukraine and the gradual lifting of sanctions from both sides. Yes, the Russian view is not identical with ours. But we would be incorrect if I cut the bridges with this Eastern power, and has not established a long-term relationship.” The interest of the French President to Russia emerged yesterday. A year and a half ago, still being the Minister of economy, he resumed in Moscow work idle for two years the Council for economic, financial, industrial and trade issues, with the aim of promoting trade and cooperation. And in that period Russia was not popular at the Elysee Palace…
“France can play a map with Russia and on the contrary, says Berlin political scientist Alexander Rahr (Alexander Rahr), analyst of the German-Russian forum and a political consultant of Gazprom. — Paris is in a much more comfortable position in relation to Moscow than Berlin. The country was not at war with each other after the Napoleonic campaigns and the Crimean war and even were in the same camp during the period of the two world conflicts of the twentieth century.” All this means a lot to Russians, who tend to be sentimental, despite the apparent rigidity. “In any case, it promotes an atmosphere of trust, which is not between the Germans and the Russians, continues RAR. — Do not forget that Angela Merkel has completely moved away from the traditional German policy of the 1970-1980-ies, which was to appease Moscow. The Chancellor prefers the “near abroad” (Poland, Baltic States, etc.) relations with Russia. The most serious strategic mistake”.
In France, after five years of mutual distrust, Francois Hollande there is a real possibility of rapprochement with Moscow. This is partly due to the internal situation in Russia. After nearly two decades at the helm, Vladimir Putin is coming to landmark for their power point. In 2018 he needs to succeed with the March elections and also the world Cup (June-July), which is extremely important for its image. It is necessary to strengthen the position against the background of economic decline, international sanctions and a new wave of protests, led by the charismatic opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who attracted a new generation of protesters from the youth. “Putin needs to come up with something new after several years of Patriotic hysteria that followed the annexation of Crimea. It can’t play on the nationalist strings. They exhaust themselves and begin to bore people,” — said the French diplomat.
So, how will look like the recent mandate of Tsar Putin, who celebrates in October its 65th anniversary? Some hope that it will be marked by policy and liberal economic reforms under the progressive-minded Alexei Kudrin. Putin is increasingly consults with the former Minister of Finance and may even make him the new Prime Minister. In addition, the Kremlin needs the openness with Europe as a counterweight to the growing influence of China on the Eastern flank. “I was not there, but I can say that Putin said to Him in a private conversation at Versailles, — continues Alexander Rahr. — Putin has tried to convince him that Europe is of great importance for Russia, and that France must defend its national interests, and not systematically to hide behind the European institutions, which hinder a direct and constructive dialogue. “We want your country has regained a Central place in Europe. A strong France is in the interests of Russia”, — probably, he added”. Young President of France, no doubt, understood the message. Although still very alert.
Chirac, Golden time
According to the press Secretary of the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov, the best relations between the two countries was when Jacques Chirac. In 2003, France’s opposition to the war in Iraq brought together the countries and their presidents. Putin believes that Chirac was the last gallicum, which adhered to a certain independence from the United States.
Sarkozy, the icy gust
“If you continue in the same spirit, I will crush you!” said, according to some, Putin in 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, who began to lecture him about the war in Chechnya. On following the meeting a press-conferences the President of France looked drunk. In fact, he was dumbfounded. During the war in Georgia in summer 2008, Sarkozy was able to wrest from Putin’s truce through diplomatic efforts.
Hollande, the rupture of relations
After the annexation of Crimea, which followed the overthrow of Pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (now hiding in Russia), the European Union imposed economic sanctions against Moscow. The French President has terminated the agreement for the supply of two helicopter “Mistral” for the Russian Navy.
Macron, a new beginning?
May 29 Putin finally visited the Orthodox Church in Paris, the opening of which could not visit with Hollande. Then his trip was canceled.