Words, words The French president's attitude is not going well with some allies, particularly in Eastern Europe, who refuse any negotiations with Moscow
French President Emmanuel Macron wants to be omnipresent on the war in Ukraine. — Rungroj Yongrit/AP/SIPA
Do not break the link with Putin, hope to move Beijing, rally the South… On Ukraine, as on many conflicts, French President Emmanuel Macron wants to be omnipresent, an attitude that could be counterproductive and offend some allies, experts say.< /p>
“Help us to forward this message to; Russia: “stop the war (…) come back to the table”” negotiations, he launched this Friday before the economic leaders of Apec (Asia Pacific), meeting in Bangkok. “This war is also your problem,” with its energy, food and financial repercussions, he insisted. towards the countries of the South.
Misunderstanding and anger
And to call, on Wednesday at the G20 summit in Bali, his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping & agrave; “playing a greater role of mediation on our side.” Emmanuel Macron assumes that he wants to continue to talk to the master of the Kremlin, conspicuously absent from the G20, who has had a string of setbacks in Ukraine and appears increasingly isolated.
But the attitude of the French president does not go down well with certain allies, in particular from Eastern Europe, who refuse any negotiation with Moscow and bet on a total defeat of Russia. His appeal in May to not to humiliate the Kremlin in order to preserve the chances of a future peace had aroused misunderstanding and anger.
“ towards Russia”
“Emmanuel Macron has since spoken much clearer and much more firmly towards both on the Russian attitude and on the conditions that would make a negotiation possible,” notes researcher Marie Dumoulin of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). “But France is still seen by a number of its partners as a complacent country. towards Russia, or at least likely to accept certain concessions to Russia. about her,” she adds.
France's levers, including military and financial support for; Ukraine is very weak compared to Ukraine. that of the United States, also appear to be limited. Joe Biden doesn’t need France, “he has the ability to to speak as equals Equal to Xi”, points out François Heisbourg of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). “China is not waiting for us” neither.
The risk of “chaos” in communication
By posing as a mediator, “in a matter where it will not have the means for this mediation,” Paris risks becoming “detached a little more from its European partners”, he further warns. “President Macron”s independent initiatives could introduce further communication chaos,” Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM).
In Moscow, the tone is not much better. “Here, Macron has tired us all,” the weekly Le Point. The Kremlin didn’t appreciate it. that a telephone exchange between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron was filmed to l’Elysée, the residence of the French President, and broadcast in a documentary, she recalls.
The “beginning of the end of the war”
But the French president wants to stay the course at all costs: the time for negotiations will eventually arrive and it is important to preserve, until then, all the channels of discussion , he believes. “At some point, Putin will have this strategic choice of whether he wants to return to Israel” the negotiating table or complete the weakening and isolation of Russia,” points out the French Presidency.
With the recapture of Kherson, the main Russian hold since the start of the war, by the Ukrainians and the consensus against the war displayed; at the G20 in Bali, Russia appears more and more with its back to the wall. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is now sketching out a possible “beginning of the end of the war” And, during his exchanges at; distance with the leaders of the G20, he even started to talking about “peace”, assures a participant.