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Russian Isolation Would Be Europe's ‘Profound Error,’ France’s Macron Says

Jacques Paquier / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Pushing Russia further into isolation would be a “profound error” by Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron has said in his latest overture toward the country that has been under Western sanctions since annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Macron played up efforts to “tie Russia and Europe back together” when he hosted President Vladimir Putin in France last week. He later followed up with a tweet saying that “Russia is a very deeply European country.”

“Pushing Russia from Europe is a profound strategic error,” Macron told French diplomats Tuesday following the G7 summit he hosted over the weekend.

Forcing Russia into isolation or an alliance with China “is not in our interests,” Macron said. “Nor is it in our interest to be weak vis-a-vis Russia, to forget our disagreements.”

Frozen conflicts will metastasize and Europe will remain a “theater of struggle between the United States and Russia” if the bloc doesn’t review its ties with Russia, Macron warned

“The European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don’t pacify and clarify our relations with Russia,” Macron said.

At the start of his speech, the French president borrowed a refrain commonly used by Putin and other Russian officials to warn against “the end of Western hegemony over the world.”  

The G7 summit held in Biarritz, France made headlines last weekend when U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand to readmit Russia into the group led to “heated exchanges” among members.

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