Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany): as the macron courting Putin

Before the conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel, which took place this Monday in Meseberg near Berlin, French President Emmanuel macron confirmed the desire to resume “dialogue on confidence-building measures and security” with Russia. The goal of such dialogue must be the establishment of security system in Europe from “Lisbon to Vladivostok,” as he put Makron in an interview with Russian President Putin.

As reported from the Elysee Palace, the exchange of views between the two presidents in a videoconference last Friday lasted more than two hours. In the communiqué of the office of the French President said that the dialogue was “deep and meaningful”. The French service company RT distributed on Saturday in the social networks the video of the first fifteen minutes of conversation, which gave the impression that Putin and Macron binds a close friendship.

It was striking that both are quite often addressed each other as “thou”, and the macron all the time stressed the “long friendship” between the two Nations, rooted in the days of joint struggle against national socialism. Macron had originally planned to attend the may 9 Victory day Parade in Moscow.

In the shown fragment of conversation, the Frenchman did not mention the lack of progress in the peaceful settlement of the war in Ukraine (the Minsk process), no concern about human rights violations in Russia or cyber attacks. It was unclear whether the publication records consistent with the Elysee Palace. Show the footage of the French President, struggling to curry favor with Putin.

Makron is not made clear whether he was subjected to a critical analysis of the relations with Russia after a summit meeting with Putin in the summer residence of the French President in Breganzona in August last year. Instead, he was acting stressed confidentially and reported willingness to come for a return visit to Putin in Moscow “until the end of August”, if you will allow infectious situation.

The desire of the Macron to conduct a dialogue with Russia on confidence-building measures and security caused confusion among his European partners, because the behavior of the Makron was seen as a violation of the solidarity of the member countries of the EU. In the interview he demonstrated that in such a delicate matter as disarmament treaties, he relies on cooperation with Putin. The macron has become the only European leader who positively responded to the Russian proposal of a “moratorium” on nuclear medium-range missiles and announced its readiness to negotiate.

To reduce the dissatisfaction of the EU, Makron has appointed former Ambassador to the EU and the Secretary General of the European external action service Pierre Vimona (Pierre Vimont) as his special envoy for cooperation with Russia in the security sphere. According to the French press, Vimon did not attend the last talk of the Makron with Putin. “The President announced his commitment to dialogue, the importance of which has increased,” — said the press service of the Elysee Palace. Several working groups “on issues of strategic stability and security on the European continent” must achieve “concrete progress”.

Macron also reminded Putin about the need to “quickly implement the road map”, which was agreed on 9 December at the last summit in the so-called Normandy format on settlement of the conflict in Ukraine. Still Putin it is not adhered to. In a communique of the Elysee Palace was not mentioned, whether coordinated the Makron his position before talking with EU partners, especially on the Eastern flank of NATO. He deliberately did not use the language of Chancellor Merkel, who in the beginning of the German presidency of the Council of Europe has called for a “critical-constructive dialogue” with Russia.

In France, the attempt of the Macron to creep up to Putin was regarded primarily as a political message pravoberezny voters. The wording of “Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok” is borrowed from Charles de Gaulle, who in 1959 in one of his speeches talked about “Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Then it was due to the attempt to guarantee France a special position between the blocs of the superpowers.

The appeal to Russia is possible, among other things, to explain the strategy of the Macron to prevent worrying for him of rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing. But the attempted rapprochement may be concerned about further reducing the influence of France in Libya and Syria.