French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday 24 June at the European Union summit that dialogue with Russia should be resumed in order to “defend the interests” of the member states. The position of France and Germany is mainly supported by Italy and Austria. On the other hand, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Romania are opposed.
“French President Emmanuel Macron believes that his fellow leaders from Poland and the Baltic states are Russophobic and insist on an unnecessarily tough policy towards Moscow because of misplaced paranoia,” writes the POLITICO website. “In turn, the leaders in Warsaw, Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius consider themselves Russian realists, and the French president as dangerously deluded by his soft approach to President Vladimir Putin,” adds the portal.
Divergent perspectives of the European Union countries in relation to Russia
– Any direct dialogue at the highest political level is possible if there is a withdrawal from the very offensive, aggressive Russian policy – Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on the conditions that must be met for the resumption of EU cooperation with Russia to become possible.
– The Kremlin understands the politics of force and does not treat the concessions as a sign of strength – emphasized the Latvian President Krishjanis Karinsz.
“Aberration is that today we are the party that is most severe on Russia, while they are our neighbors,” Macron said. – We saw it a few weeks ago when President Biden met President Putin. Then I said to my friends at the table, “He didn’t ask your opinion, and you watch him have a summit meeting and it doesn’t shock you?” – added the French president, admitting, however, that “the complexity of the discussions” is something normal because individual countries “do not have the same stories”.
Agnieszka Legucka: It is not true that we are Russophobes, we are rather aware of Russia
According to POLITICO, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda believes that the leaders advocating a change in approach to Russia are naive. – If without any positive changes in the behavior of Russia, we will start [w to – red.] get involved, we will send a very bad and uncertain signal – he said. – I think we are trying to get a bear to cooperate to protect some of our honey – he added.
According to the analyst for Russia at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, Agnieszka Legucka, “Russia very often uses this narrative that people in Poland or the Czech Republic or the Baltic states are Russophobic,” but this is not true. – If we are rather aware of Russia. Aware of what she is doing around her, what her goals are, she said and added that “the first steps must be made by Russia, not by the European Union.”