En evoking, the 1er September, the bleak prospect of“a long war” in Ukraine, on the occasion of the annual conference of ambassadors gathered at the Elysée Palace, Emmanuel Macron confirmed the evolution to which he was forced regarding a crisis that has become central, for which he had long hoped to mediate , but without success. The President of the Republic undoubtedly sees with spite his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with whom he maintains icy relations, claiming it today, with for the moment better cards in his game.
Emmanuel Macron assured diplomats that he wanted to maintain contact with the master of the Kremlin, Vladimir Poutine, for “preparing for peace”perspective which remains illusory for the moment. Nevertheless: its wager on opening up to Russia to secure it to Europe, symbolized by the Summit of Brégançon, in 2019, was indeed lost. And the war revived an Atlantic Alliance thathe judged in ” brain death “.
Faced with a Russian counterpart padlocked in a delirious vision of Ukraine, the performative diplomacy that made him stigmatize in front of the same audience a “Deep State”, located at the Quai d’Orsay and prisoner of analyzes deemed fixed, was no more effective than facing Donald Trump, in 2018to try to save the Iranian nuclear agreement, or that faced with the maze of Lebanese factions, two years later, after theexplosion that devastated the port of Beirut.
In traveling to Kyiv in Junealongside the President of the Italian Council, Mario Draghi, and the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who leads a country even more destabilized by this first major conflict on European soil since the end of the Second World War, Emmanuel Macron has materialized spectacularly the evolution to which it had been forced.
His detractors judged this trip late, which it was factually, even if the President of the Republic did not count his efforts at the time, a few days before a decisive European summit, in order toObtain EU candidate status for Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron had previously unnecessarily complicated the task by repeating do not want “humiliate” Russia in Ukraine, an inaudible concern when, on the ground, the Russian aggressor was probably multiplying war crimes. It reinforced the mistrust of Eastern European countries while, at the same time, the other heavyweight of the Union, Germany, paid the price for disastrous energy choices.
The obligation to learn lessons
On August 17, Emmanuel Macron solemnly invited his compatriots to “accepting to pay the price for our freedom and our values” by placing itself more than ever alongside Ukraine. A seriousness which also dominated his brief speech at the opening of the Council of Ministers for the start of the new school year, on August 24, marked by the announcement of “the end of recklessness” and that of “abundance”.
In the speech on Europe delivered in Prague on August 29the German Chancellor has tried to convince that he is ready to respond to the “change of time” driven by the Russian invasion. The French president must, too, learn all the lessons of a voluntarism which has come up against reality. The stalemate in the conflict gives it not only the opportunity, but above all the obligation. It is a necessity, if he intends to forge with his European partners an effective parade against Russia’s belligerent tendencies.