[ Editor’s Note: We have a curveball in motion here with Macron going to Moscow. If he can cut a deal, the EU will be pulled along, wanting to show that it can work out deals with Putin more easily than the Americans.
The US, for cover, can then say that the troops it has sent in ‘drove Putin to the negotiation table’, which would be fine with Putin for a good deal.
But the only good deal for Putin is having NATO agree to end its aggressive long term military moves to the Russian border where it can then threaten Moscow with what will eventually be US-NATO first strike hypersonic missiles.
The downside for Putin is that Macron and Merkel shafted him as guarantors of the Minsk agreement to reach an autonomy resolution with Donbass, which the Ukies just laughed at, said thanks, and the Russians can go screw themselves.
Macron cannot speak for the US or NATO, as they could not agree to any deal he made with Putin and still make ‘deal killing’ demands, but neither can they treat the EU like a child who has stayed up too late, and grownups need to take over now… Jim W. Dean ]
First published February 6, 2022
PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron is taking an almighty gamble by styling himself as the world leader who can strike a peace deal with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a meeting on Monday.
If he pulls it off, he’ll be the hero who prevented an assault on Ukraine and put Europe back on the map as a diplomatic big-hitter, all just in time for the French presidential election in April.
…Putin himself — a master of playing divide-and-rule tactics with Western leaders — is signaling that Macron is someone he can do business with. French officials say Putin told Macron he was “a discussion partner of quality” and said last week that the French president was “the only one with whom he can have such deep discussions and who cared about dialogue.”
…In a newspaper interview before leaving for Moscow, Macron struck an accommodating line toward Putin. He told the Journal du Dimanche that it was “legitimate” for Russia to raise its own security concerns and insisted that Putin’s ultimate goal was not to conquer Ukraine but to recalibrate its relations with NATO and the EU.
Macron said European countries needed to strike a “new balance” while respecting Russia’s security concerns, though he was vague about what any of that meant.