How Ukraine war ended Macron's illusions over 'privileged' relations with Putin


For a long time the French president placed great emphasis on his “privileged relationship” with his Russian counterpart to obtain diplomatic advances, sometimes without even consulting his European partners. But when Emmanuel Macron met Vladimir Putin in Moscow in early February to discuss the situation in Ukraine everything had changed ... starting with the Kremlin chief himself. Ellen Salvi reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

The declaration lasted a few minutes and was made against a backdrop of the French, European and Ukrainian flags. It was Thursday February 24th, a few hours after Russia had launched its offensive against Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron faced the camera with a solemnity that was not just for show. War had come and France was “ready” he stated. The head of state then declared: “We will respond to this act of war without weakness, with cold blood, determination and unity.” Decisions on actions were due to follow after meetings of the G7 and European Council and a NATO summit.