Chronic. Five years ago, an invader quietly broke into Emmanuel Macron’s campaign with the aim of weakening his presidential bid, or at least destabilizing the democratic process. Rumors about the former economy minister’s private life had been distilled, and by the end of the campaign, computer hackers had penetrated his team’s mailboxes. Tens of thousands of messages, including fakes, had been leaked from the “MacronLeaks”.
Russia Today and Sputnik were banned from the candidate’s headquarters, who regarded them as… “propaganda organs” † A study published by The world two and a half years later, the hack linked to an operation of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence agency. The shadow of Vladimir Putin has already hovered over Emmanuel Macron’s campaign.
Five years later, the nature of the outage has changed. Discretion is no longer required. Vladimir Poutine weighs in with all his weight of dictator and invader on Emmanuel Macron’s second presidential campaign. It weighs all the more because the two men now know each other. In five years, they built a relationship, fueled by a few meetings and frequent phone calls. Emmanuel Macron had pinned hopes on this relationship, a grand design that sometimes bordered on an obsession: starting negotiations on a “European Security Architecture”that of the XXIand century with which Russia would be associated.
This dream was shattered on the ruins of the cities of Ukraine bombed by the Russian army since February 24. And the “firm and demanding dialogue”, according to the expression inaugurated by Mr Macron to justify the relationship he wanted to establish with the Russian president, turns into a nightmare at the end of the campaign, when new unbearable images of war crimes are delivered every day. No one dares to imagine what a “security architecture” negotiated with Moscow in a Europe subject to the “return from tragedy”, rearming and preparing for the possibility of a new Iron Curtain. Shall we discuss security architecture, or even security guarantees, with someone who refuses to stop fire for a few hours to evacuate civilians from Mariupol?
For the past three months, contacts between Macron and Putin have been more of a dialogue between the deaf than an exchange. President Macron wanted this out, to understand why he so stubbornly maintained this bond with a leader who blatantly lies day in and day out. He instructed his advisers to report his conversations with Vladimir Putin to the press, of which he also informs his European partners: often gloomy reports, to the desperate rhythm of the Putinian leitmotif of “denazification” in response to the humanitarian urgency argument. In these telephone interviews, Emmanuel Macron tried all the stops, patience, conviction, the rising tone. Every time he hit the same wall.
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