Macron's rapprochement with Russia

Emmanuel Macron has called for the EU to adopt a new policy towards Russia and wants the Russian offer of a moratorium on medium-range missiles to be given serious consideration. Nato, however, has so far rejected the proposal. Commentators are also less than enthusiastic about the French president's initiative.

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Paris dividing Nato and the EU

Macron is running off the rails, Deutschlandfunk complains:

“It seems that Macron wants to normalise relations with Putin without demanding a single concession in return and regardless of what his partners in Nato or the EU have to say about it. Putin has done massive harm to his international credibility with his aggressive foreign and security policy, and it's up to him to put that right. Chancellor Merkel has rightly said that there can be no defending Europe without Nato, a statement with which the Scandinavian and Eastern European states heartily agree. They view Macron's forced rapprochement with Putin with horror. With this approach Macron's foreign policy is dividing Nato and the European Union.”

Ukrayinska Pravda (UA) /

New distance to the US

Ukrayinska Pravda is worried by Macron's new closeness to Russia and distance from the US:

“Until now all Nato members were in agreement: Putin ended the [INF] treaty because it was Moscow that no longer adhered to it. Consequently all the Nato members supported the US's decision to withdraw from a treaty that was no longer respected. But now the French president has changed his mind. True, he also takes the view that Russia violated the treaty, but he has blamed Trump for thoughtlessly destroying it.”

Gândul (RO) /

Fear on the eastern flank

For Gândul it's now up to Trump to put people's minds at rest:

“How will the Baltic states and Poland react to Macron's statement? Will Romania, which is just as directly affected, have a standpoint? It remains to be seen what assurances the US president will make to Poland, Romania and the Baltic states over a working lunch, and whether the leader in the White House will be able to calm the fears that the French president has sparked with his claims.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Merkel's weak departure

Although the conflict between Macron and Merkel is being played out at the international level, the drama itself has to do with the domestic situation in Germany, Berlin correspondent Tonia Mastrobuoni writes in La Repubblica:

“Of course the current rift between two partners as strategic as Paris and Berlin is a drama for the entire continent. But above all - and worse still - Macron's pioneering role highlights the devastating paralysis of Merkel's fourth and last term in office. Rather than ensuring a strong legacy, this term is now turning out to be the least ambitious of all in this respect. Merkel is crippled by a CDU torn by internal feuds and an epochal identity crisis that threatens to topple her designated successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.”