Macron’s overtures towards Russia deserve support, not scorn
Politics often requires leadership and an ability to adapt to changing circumstances. International politics is no exception. Paradoxically, in the context of Europe’s deadlocked relations with Russia these changing circumstances will probably boil down to continuity in the Kremlin beyond 2024. This means Europe would be ill-advised to just wait out the current term of President Putin and in any event will have to deal with Russia as it is, rather than Russia as it might be.
In recent months, before the corona virus stopped everything in its tracks, French President Macron intensified his attempts to re-engage with Russia. Macron is not averse to articulating grand visions. This may irritate some of his more down- to-earth European colleagues, who find Macron’s interventions often disruptive or they lament typically French illusions of grandeur, but at the same time there is a broad call for more geopolitical acumen and a return to European power politics.