NewsPutin's plea for peace: Russian leader woos Macron for renewed French-Russian relations despite Ukraine invasion

Putin's plea for peace: Russian leader woos Macron for renewed French-Russian relations despite Ukraine invasion

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin have had great relations for years.
Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin have had great relations for years.
Images source: © Getty Images | Chesnot
9:52 AM EST, December 16, 2023

Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin maintained excellent relations for years, though everything changed when Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Despite Macron’s efforts to persuade Putin to withdraw troops, dialogue broke down. Putin had no intention of ending the conflict, leaving Macron at a loss.

All attempts to convince the Russians to cease hostilities, invoking the name of good relations and substantial trade exchanges, have failed. "We had very good relations with France," recalled Russia's President, hinting at a possible resumption. At a meeting with his fellow citizens, Putin argued that the West needs his country.

However, there is no indication yet that Moscow might be open to resuming discussions about the situation in Europe.

Yet Putin continues to paint a picture of a "great Russia" for his compatriots and a lost West, which he claims cannot navigate the world map without Russia. He boldly contends that the French, and indeed all of Europe, are waiting for talks with Moscow and are in desperate need of Russian resources.

If France has an interest, we are ready - Putin assured.

Putin’s emphasis on Paris and Emmanuel Macron is no coincidence. Russians harbor no ill-will towards the French; they enjoyed a cooperative relationship until France unexpectedly distanced itself. "Suddenly, the president of France broke off relations with us. It wasn't us who broke off, I didn't break off, he broke off," insisted Putin.

However, the issue of bilateral relations is far more complex.

Primarily, as a member of the European Union and NATO, France cannot bolster relations with Russia when the West perceives it as an adversary and is applying sanctions to pressure Moscow into withdrawing from Ukraine. While Paris has had good relations with Russia for decades, these ties could now be a thing of the past. Why?

Russian television propagandists often voice their hatred of the West, while openly discussing plans to conquer Europe, from Berlin and Paris to Lisbon. Regardless of their lucrative trade ties with Russia, such talk does not sit well with the French. Added to this is Russia's interference in Africa, which has especially annoyed France and solidified their support for Ukraine.

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