There hasn’t been a day since the start of the war in Ukraine without international leaders talking alternately with Volodymyr Zelensky. If the link is firmly maintained with the president of the besieged country, the fragile thread which united Vladimir Putin to the rest of the world seems well and truly cut. The former KGB agent is now an international pariah. During the first months of the offensive, some political figures, like Emmanuel Macron, tried to exchange with the head of the Kremlin. In the last episode of his web-series “5 years at the Élysée, part 3”, broadcast Friday, May 13 on YouTube, the latter details the steps that led him to his confrontation with Vladimir Poutine on Russian soil.
Four days after the launch of the military campaign and a few weeks before the invasion, seated behind his Elysian desk, Emmanuel Macron addresses five of his dumbfounded advisers with determination. “My intention is that if we can nail something there, we have to go to Moscow. I think now is the time. The trick is that, if we want to move the lines. And I’m going straight to kyiv,” he explains without flinching as a laugh of astonishment rises from the audience. Faced with the elusive Vladimir Putin, the tenant of the presidential palace seems convinced that he has his card to play. Without disassembling himself, he joins his Moscow counterpart by secure line.
“I would be willing, as my country, but also as President of the European Union, to come in the next few days to see you face to face and try to move forward together. If you are ready to enter into a logic of sincere construction and clear de-escalation, ”says Emmanuel Macron. An appointment is made, it’s time to work.
The French head of state flew to Moscow with a speech pre-constructed by a salvo of keywords: “I retained ‘NATO/US response’, ‘military densification and exercises’, two points on which he gestures are needed… And then I’m going to ask him if he agrees to discuss such and such a theme. On Monday, February 7, Vladimir Poutine cordially welcomes Emmanuel Macron, both of them lonely at the end of an infinite table. A historical moment painstakingly elaborated by both sides, but which did not have the desired effect.