The new French commitment against Russia

The new French commitment against Russia

It is a strategic turnaround which has caused a lot of ink to be spilled: the declarations of French President Emmanuel Macron in favor of Ukraine seem to outline the contours of a new anti-Putin axis. But how can we explain such a break?

President Emmanuel Macron is known to be very experienced in the practice of social networks, so he wanted to drive the point home and express his thoughts during an exchange with French Internet users this week: “ Wanting peace does not mean choosing defeat or letting goUkraine “, he insisted in front of the small camera of his cell phone.

Last stone thrown into the diplomatic pond of one of the most spectacular strategic shifts since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine two years ago and which the future will one day tell if it was an intuition historical, a European survival instinct or a bluff with no future.

Read alsoIn a television interview, Emmanuel Macron shows total support for Ukraine

Outcry among the Allied Powers

Shift, turnaround? Yes, because if Emmanuel Macron mentions sending troops to Ukraine today, there was no good press in the summer of 2022 when the Ukrainian defenders launched their resounding counter-offensive in Kharkiv and he, for his part, , continued to telephone the Russian president Vladimir Poutine wishing “ not to humiliate ” there Russia.

The road has been long, but the French head of state undoubtedly ended up understanding that he was going in circles in the face of increasingly systemic attacks from Moscow and gradually trying to warm up his personal relations with his Ukrainian counterpart. Volodymyr Zelensky moreover analyzing with controlled indulgence that Emmanuel Macron had “ understood that Putin had personally deceived him. That it had taken a while, but that the result was there. » The essential thing then, even if it means – at the time – provoking an outcry among the allied powers but to begin, alone or almost for the moment, to lead Europe towards a war economy.

Read alsoFrance: the National Assembly votes largely in favor of the security agreement with Ukraine

Emmanuel Macron with his back to the wall

It must be said that 2024 is a year of important elections in the four corners of the planet and the shadow of the Russian and American elections hangs over the conflict. If the French president has chosen to defend this new equation “strengthening Ukraine means defending Europe”, it is because he knows his back is against the wall. As is Ukraine. In difficulty on its eastern front after the failure of the 2023 offensives and the lack of deliveries of munitions and missiles, blocked for weeks in Congress in Washington. And precisely, the projections and electoral prospects in the United States are giving cold sweats to many Western military experts.

The clear break in the doctrine Pax Americana or policeman of the world, in the event of a return to business by the populist isolationist Donald Trump next November, would mean the withdrawal of the “second front” in Ukraine embodied by the formidable American military support under the leadership of President Biden. And this frightening prospect for world security has gone well beyond the stage of political fiction… Especially since the master of the Kremlin, galvanized by his probable return to power, could continue and go even further in his warlike headlong rush. Ukraine and Europe, therefore, would find themselves quite alone.

Is the bet of this new French strategic situation winnable?

On the ground, the stagnation of the front in Ukraine does not necessarily mean collapse. Far from there. “ The military special operation » Russian supposed to last three days with the capture of the capital and the fall of the Ukrainian government enters its third year and President Zelensky is alive and well in place.

Russian forces control only 18% of the territory, exactly as in 2022. The challenge for Paris is to put an end to the idea that the long term would necessarily be favorable to Moscow, while its war economy has caused inflationary overheating. and a deep dependence on partners like China. The only certainty is that the year 2024 will be decisive. For the best or for the worst.