Macron hopes talking to Putin will help end the war: Pierre Jovanovich

French journalist Pierre Jovanovich told World News what he thinks Macron is trying to achieve with his policy towards Russia and Ukraine, and what to expect from the upcoming second round of elections.

Mr Jovanovich pointed out that when the war started, French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech to the French people with not only the French flag behind him but also a Ukrainian one, which was according to him a powerful message of support. Macron is also supposed to visit Kyiv soon to meet with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, something that has been long overdue considering how many other leaders have met with the Ukrainian head of state.

Although France is located on the other side of the continent, the war has impacted French politics and society. The outbreak of the war was a shock for the French people, said Mr Jovanovich. It was not without an impact on the ongoing presidential campaign too. One of the candidates, Éric Zemmour, said at some point that France could benefit from “a French Putin”. With the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, these words came back to bite him. The initial shock has passed and the French have refocused on things like rising prices of gasoline and food, which are also indirectly impacted by the war, but the thought of the conflict on the other end of Europe remains at the back of everyone’s the heads. France has also taken in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Macron has faced a lot of criticism from some quarters for his regular phone calls to Putin. But as Mr Jovanovich explains, the traditional way of French diplomacy is to try to maintain a balance between great powers such as the US and Russia to ensure peace, and to that end, Macron may believe it is necessary to talk with Putin. He also pointed out that while France has sent some artillery pieces to Ukraine, so the French efforts are not limited to words alone.

Speaking of the upcoming second round of the parliamentary elections, in which Macron’s Together! coalition was almost evenly matched by the coalition of left-wing parties. Mr Jovanovich pointed out, that the turnout for the elections was extremely low for France, with less than half of the eligible voters going to the polls. He believes that if this happens again, the composition of the parliament will be very divided. But if those who stayed at home last Sunday decide to vote, it may make for an interesting result. Mr Jovanovich believes that The Republicans, who are seen as a moderate party, may receive a boost in support, and even become a coalition partner for Together! if it does not win a majority in the National Assembly.