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16 Apr, 2024 10:59

Macron’s stance on Russia causing ‘unease’ among officials – Bloomberg

The French president has been “oscillating” between war warnings and calls for peace, the news outlet said
Macron’s stance on Russia causing ‘unease’ among officials – Bloomberg

Some French security officials are “apprehensive” of President Emmanuel Macron’s public rhetoric, in which he seems to be “oscillating unpredictably between peacemaker and provocateur,” Bloomberg has claimed, citing insider sources.

In his public remarks, the French leader has urged Western nations to go on a war footing and brace for a future conflict with Russia. But such statements have been undermined by the actual policies of his government, the news outlet argued on Tuesday.

Among the issues causing “unease” among foreign allies and French officials, according to Bloomberg, was a phone call between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu earlier this month.

Moscow said that during the call the Russian side warned France against deploying troops in Ukraine – a scenario that Macron first floated in March. The officials also discussed possible talks “based on the Istanbul peace initiative,” the statement added, referring to a failed attempt by Russia and Ukraine to resolve the conflict in its early stages, which was reportedly derailed by the West.

The French account of the call did not mention plans for such talks, and reiterated a commitment to supporting Kiev, which Paris claims was Lecornu’s message to Shoigu.

Another example of Macron’s efforts to influence the Ukraine conflict, cited by Bloomberg, was his recent call for an Olympic truce to be held this summer, when Paris will be hosting the summer games. The UN General Assembly traditionally demands a cessation of all hostilities worldwide every time the Olympics are held, although they are rarely observed, the outlet noted – but Macron “really meant it”, according to a source quoted in the report.

Bloomberg suggested that Macron’s messaging was partially motivated by France lagging behind some other EU nations in its assistance to Ukraine. The estimated pledges of arms by Paris are worth less than €2 billion ($2.1bn), compared to Germany’s €22 billion ($23.4bn) it said. A Polish government official told the outlet that France was apparently compensating politically for its failures in delivering munitions to Kiev.