Polityka: the Makron does not like NATO?

Polityka: действительно ли Макрон не любит НАТО?

Interview with Krzysztof Solojam (Krzysztof Soloch) — lecturer at the Paris Sorbonne, and a former employee of the French Institute of international relations and the Foundation for strategic research.Polityka: Emmanuel macron does not like NATO?Krzysztof Solokh: macron believes that NATO in the current configuration and in the present international situation is not the same organization that it was when appeared. At the time of its inception and throughout the period until the end of the cold war, the Alliance, according to the French relied on two pillars: shared values and common interests. Now (from the point of view of Paris) because of the unpredictable politics trump common interests left, and Turkey’s actions, in turn, show that disappeared and shared values. Because of these two factors, NATO is facing a crisis in which Europe risk. Can we say that the macron doesn’t like the Alliance? We remember that France has always supported this organization is rather special relationship, so it’s hard to tell if she likes it. This is one of the allies of the founders, which conducts its own foreign policy.— Differences in interests and approach to the values appeared in the last four years, when trump became President. We can say that they deepened since the end of the cold war. Ten years ago, Sarkozy returned France into NATO military structures. What has changed, why now the French leader decided to give the Alliance such a tough rating?— There are no big changes, France continues to follow the previous trajectory. The attitude towards NATO began to change when Chirac, it was he who in 1995 started the process of full integration, which ended with Sarkozy in 2009. This decision came from a desire to convince the Europeans in the appeal which appeared in the times of de Gaulle’s European project. France wanted to show that she fully participates in the functioning of NATO, but also hopes to persuade Europe to develop its own military potential (in this context, it says less about the EU than on the continent itself). So Paris appears ally on whom you can rely, but which is realistic about the security of our part of the world. Macron wanted to Wake up the Europeans, to show that NATO members refuse common interests.— I would like to stay on that French realism. What is it? In recognition that the leading role in European security is Russia? On the one hand, Makron criticizes NATO, and with another — opens arms in front of Moscow. He thinks the macron, close to the government people, the Paris experts?— France fears the return of a bipolar world in which poles will be the United States and China. The reason is simple: in this scenario, Europe (and with it, of course, and France) may be on the sidelines. However, according to Paris, this is already happening: Europe is losing value, furthermore, it weakens authoritarian country on its outskirts: Russia and Turkey. There are numerous analytical papers, which are now being discussed in Paris.In turn, “realism Rules” lies in its approach to Moscow. He believes that modern Russia returned to the international arena solely because the West has made very serious mistakes (e.g., in Syria). This happened not because Russia is stronger, has a strong economic or military position: it got to where it is now, using the mistakes of the West. Macron believes that Russia will not be able to maintain this position because it is in a state of internal decomposition: its territory populated by the Chinese, the population is reduced and the Russian GDP is comparable in size with the Spanish. The French President suggests that the only prospect for the Kremlin, is a partnership with Europe, otherwise he will become a vassal of China.— This part of the analysis of the situation in modern Russia agree many experts in Warsaw and on the Eastern flank of NATO as a whole, but with the idea “to forgive the Kremlin” (for the attack on Ukraine or Georgia), which sounds at the Macron, they accept difficult. How does it compare to realism?— When France says that she is looking at the situation realistically, it means that it is not acknowledged the annexation of Crimea and does not recognize it. In the context of the Crimean Peninsula it continues to consider Russia as an aggressor which has violated the principles of international law. Here the opinion of France coincides with the opinion of other NATO members. Paris, however, believes that we cannot leave things as they are, because the more we isolate Moscow, so it becomes more dangerous. This is not to fully to forgive her, but about to stretch her hand, at the same time explaining that the annexation we will never recognize, and the normalization of relations will be possible only under condition of settlement of the situation in the Donbas and in the Crimea.This is not forgiveness, and creation of conditions for discharge. France wants to go the same way that during the conference on security and cooperation in Europe, that is, to focus on detente and disarmament, the restoration of trust. Only on the basis of this trust, as suggested by macron, it is possible to build partnership and solve the problems related to the Crimea, Donbass, Russia’s aggressive actions. This approach has in Paris its critics. Quay d’orsay, that is, diplomats, treats him with skepticism. However, France is a presidential Republic, so that the vector of foreign policy the President sets in there, a different strategy there, it’s a French specificity.— Makron was aware that his ideas, especially in such expressions as “brain death”, will cause resentment not only among the countries of the Eastern flank of NATO, which has traditionally criticized the rapprochement with Russia, but from Germany. We already saw the reaction of Merkel. Macron believes this risk is justified hoped that the criticism is just empty words, or comes to an open confrontation with States that have a different opinion? Which option is most likely?— Here makes itself felt the lack of Macron experience in diplomacy, in the international arena. The President openly expressed what many in France think, but that should have translated into diplomatic language.— So he just said too much?— Yes, it was obvious. All this they say in France, but behind closed doors, knowing that the words could further alienate the country who are skeptical about the normalization of relations with Russia. The statements of the Makron did not go in favor of strengthening the community, which says France. She added fuel to the fire, this is a huge mistake of the President, which stems from its frustration. When the Makron came into power, he had his own project, their own idea of Europe, the French coined the concept of strategic autonomy and the desire to implement it, so there was a “European intervention initiative”. We see that much success he has not achieved. Macron could not turn Europe into a strategic player, and it seems to be the main cause of his frustration.— What concerns such countries as Poland or Estonia?— Macron understands that many countries consider Russia the main threat, however, he did not quite agree with the generally accepted method of dealing with it. He does not believe that risks can be mitigated through increasing military presence near the Russian borders, the show of force. He relies on partnership and dialogue with Moscow, hoping to reduce the level of risk in this way.— Easy to promote such ideas, being at a distance of 1,500 kilometers from the Russian missile bases and positioning its own nuclear weapons…but still, here we are back to the starting point, that is, the concepts that appeared long before the arrival of the Macron for the presidency. We are talking about the findings of the operation in Libya in 2011. It was then that France began to demonstrate the European members of NATO that Europe is almost completely dependent on the US for political and operational sphere that Europeans can’t agree with each other about the use of force without American prompting, even if it is on the southern outskirts of their continent.These findings were confirmed later: after the “Arab spring” in Syrian conflict, in the context of Iran. France believes this situation is unacceptable, and the dependence on the US threat. We should make a stipulation that she is not anti-American stance, and remains a staunch ally. During the Berlin and the Cuban missile crisis, 11 September 2001, in Afghanistan — France has always been close to the United States. It is, of course, communicates with the Americans in Africa. French forces are in Estonia participating in NATO operations. They are present in different regions, so we cannot say that the French tend to leave the Alliance or to weaken it.They want (sometimes desperately, as of now) to show that NATO cannot rely solely on the United States. American aid will not come immediately, and without the possibility of the Europeans, frankly, very small. In this regard, Paris believes that building the European capacity leads not to a weakening of the Alliance, and to create a balance that always wanted Washington. France also agrees to focus security on American equipment. In the opinion of the Makron, the administration trump made security the subject of the sale. USA blackmailing European countries (primarily those in the East): or buy U.S. weapons, or we won’t help you. In this regard, Paris believes that trump, unlike his predecessors, does not support the European project, but rather as the context of Brexia, is committed to the disintegration of the EU.— Maybe this whole thing. Only Makron, making Trump a lot of claims and accusing him that he turned his back on Europe itself, speaking of “brain death Alliance” uses a characteristic of the American President’s rhetoric.— He does this to Wake up the Europeans, to say to them: do not rely on the United States, they cannot be called today a predictable ally. Security for trump — a commercial product that is not associated with common values, because you can buy it. France can not agree with it. The words of the Makron was, of course, bad, too hard, so he turned to the bad trompowsky rhetoric. This will push some countries to cooperate even more closely with the Americans and reduce the force of impact of the Euro-Atlantic community. Macron made a mistake, but it was the result of his disappointment that the allies did not support the French concept of “Europe of defence”.

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