The moral dilemma for President Macron

Apr 2019
32
12
Britain
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The President of France has the ambition to return to his state its former grandeur within the European continent and turn it into the new leader of a renewed United Europe. To this end, he set about to reconcile the European Union and Russia in order to secure peace and partnership from Brest (to the west of Brittany) to Vladivostok (in the Far East). Hence, he has already given Putin prior consent to visit Moscow in May this year to participate in the Victory Day Parade.

Apparently, Macron means, after he comes to Moscow, to cast mind back honoring the deceased, and to take care of the future, offering the hand of friendship to Putin. At the same time, by such actions he will destroy the reconciled reality, since, setting hopes for some fruits of his efforts, he will inevitably get others.

Macron's attendance of the major (for Kremlin) event of the year will by default signify a betrayal of our contemporaries, first and foremost, of the population of most of Russia's neighbor states, offended by its aggressive militarist foreign policy. Precisely because of the latter, Putin and the representatives of the Russian authorities and the establishment found themselves in international isolation, while the entire sectors of the Russian economy - under severe sanctions of the Western states. As it is known, the Kremlin keeps considering its foreign policy totally correct, although a number of hot and frozen conflicts along the borders of the Russian Federation have not been resolved yet.

Extending his helping hand to Putin for the sake of the future of Europe, Macron in the meantime complicates current political reality. Is he probably sure to be able to resolve this difficult dilemma in the right way?

Thus, on May 8, 2020 it would be the 75th anniversary of capitulation of the Nazi Third Reich, a totalitarian regime that followed the principles of racial discrimination, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. There is no doubt that anniversary of the victory over Nazism will be celebrated on several continents (from London and Paris to Washington, Ottawa and Canberra), but, above all, it will be emphasized in Moscow. Generally, victory in the World War II is always in thoughts of Russians, as far as this narrative is tightly interwoven both in the ideology of the USSR, and in the neo-imperial ideology of the Russian Federation (after the defeat of the Red Empire in the Cold War). After drifting from the post-totalitarianism to the so-called “sovereign democracy”, modern Russia cannot, in fact, boast of any achievements - neither in economics, nor in science, nor in the standard of living of average citizens, nor in the protection of their rights and freedoms. The only achievement that the Kremlin leaders can not repeat enough to their subordinates is their grandfathers’ victory in World War II in 1945.

At the same time, modern Russians (and in meantime Europeans) quite beneficially for them forget the fact that the soldiers recruited to the Red Army represented all the nationalities of the former USSR, while the Stalinist military-industrial complex was fueled by the industrial potential of 15 Soviet republics (built by forced collectivization, artificial famine and mass repressions, resulted in death of tens of millions USSR citizens).

Putin invited almost all world leaders to Moscow to participate in the victory parade. Currently, the leaders of the world’s major powers keep silent about this invitation. Has Mr Macron been too hurried to give his consent?

Apparently, world leaders are aware that Putin attaches great importance to the parade as extremely symbolic and eloquent action in the eyes of the international community.

Visit of influential international actors to headstrong and cynical Russian leader would obviously consecrate a destructive foreign policy of the Russian Federation seeking destroy of the world order, ignorance of international law, fragmentation of the common Euro-Atlantic region and plunging the world into chaos: fueling violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan, fostering Transnistria to disassociate from Moldova, setting South Ossetia and Abkhazia against Georgia, bloody confrontation in Chechnya, stirring up ethnic strife in Baltic states, annexation of Crimea, war in the Ukrainian Donbass, participation in the conflict in Syria, Libya and Venezuela and, ultimately, tricky interference in the election campaign nearly all around the world (including in France). Then the victory parade in Moscow attended by world leaders will indirectly approve all these actions of the Russian Federation, allowing Putin to get rid of international isolation, to return to the international arena in honorary status and to mobilize his allies.

If Merkel’s voters can explain to themselves her attendance of the Putin parade by the complex of guilt intrinsic to the whole German nation resulting from the stirring up of the World War II, and the North American electorate has become accustomed to the ungraspable and suspicious Trump’s commitment to the main patron of the Russian hacker and corruptionists, then French citizens will lack good reason to approve Macron's involvement in Putin’s “triumph of will”.

If Macron becomes the only representative among the G-7 leaders to come to Moscow for reconciliation with Putin, he takes the risk of “getting all the credits” of Marshal F. Peten (who made a truce with the Third Reich in 1940 and headed Vichy puppet regime), who is associated with weakness, betrayal and collaboration in the eyes of all Europeans. Therefore, to avoid making the European Union as a whole and France, in particular, ashamed, President Macron should boycott this dubious May event to be held Moscow.

Source: translation of Democratic europe