Thursday, September 29, 2022
HomeNewsMacron’s ‘hopes’ dashed after President snubbed by Kremlin over negotiations 'hotline'

Macron’s ‘hopes’ dashed after President snubbed by Kremlin over negotiations 'hotline'

Since Putin invaded Ukraine last month, Mr Erdogan has been the key intermediary between Russia and the West. Throughout the conflict, the Turkish President has had regular dialogue with Putin, as well as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Belarusian leadership. Mr Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said there was a “network of trust” with Russia that “must absolutely remain open for diplomacy to succeed”.

The spokesperson added Turkey had become the only reliable intermediary between Russia and the West, after Putin “burned his bridges” with all other interlocutors.

However, according to French politics expert Dr Lees, Mr Macron had initially hoped to  fulfil Mr Erdogan’s role as mediator between the West and Russia.

Speaking to the academic said: “I think previously he had quite a positive relationship with Putin, at least in the sense of being a respected world leader and somebody who tries to have a ‘rapprochement’, a conversation with Putin. 

“At one point just before Russia invaded Ukraine there was a sense that there was going to be a hotline between the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin. 

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“That hasn’t really materialised. 

“I know that the French intelligence services are putting out regular updates in the same way as the British Defence Ministry.

“But I think Mr Macron had hoped to be playing the figure that is now occupied by Erdogan in Turkey, as the interlocutor to be able to negotiate between the different parties. 

“He had hoped for that to happen.”

“When Donald Trump was first elected, before Macron was even in office, there was a sense that Macron was trying to look at what Trump was doing economically in particular when he was economics adviser to Francois Holland, and thinking about his own campaign. 

“I think he saw Trump as a potential ally in many ways. When Macron was then elected they had an initial very positive relationship. 

“That deteriorated very fast and in many ways now he sees Putin in the same way. 

“This is not necessarily a positive relationship anymore.

“Actually now the relationship is far more hostile clearly, and Macron has not been pulling his punches when it comes to condemning Putin’s actions.”

Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr Macron has strongly condemned the Russian leader, while the EU along with its Western allies have responded by imposing severe sanctions on Russia.

Yet Macron’s initial attempts at creating dialogue between Moscow and Paris may have been born from historical ties between the two countries. 

Dr Lees explained: “I do think there seems to be a bit of mutual respect there, and I think that’s largely based on the long term relationship between France and Russia. 

“Charles De Gaulle, in the Cold War was someone who tried to present himself as being neither Western nor Russian, as it were. Neither Capitalist or Communist. 

“And that historically has served France well with Russia.”



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