What to expect from Putin's visit to Bregancon?
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the French president's official holiday residence in Bregancon.
The Ukrainian crisis and prospects for activities within the Normandy Quartet will be the focus of the meeting, the Kremlin announced, noting that the sides will also discuss Iran, Syria. the U.S.-China trade war and bilateral relations.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that France intends to take the lead in restoring the relations between the West and Russia. "Macron’s invitation speaks first of all of France’s desire to negotiate with Russia on bilateral relations, on Moscow’s contacts with Brussels, and on the international agenda, from Syria to Ukraine. A dialogue at the highest level on all these issues is needed. It’s significant that Macron proposed to hold these talks on the eve of the G7 summit, which means that at a meeting with the G7 leaders he will talk about his vision of further relations between the West and Russia. So these talks will be very useful," he said.
"In general, there are no changes for the worse in France’s policy towards Russia. There are also no radical changes for the better, such as the rejection of sanctions pressure, but the good thing is that under Macron France has begun to seek a more independent position in world politics. When a country seeks independence, it is much more interesting both as an interlocutor and as a promising partner," Vladimir Olenchenko drew attention.
In this regard, Russia is considering France as the leading EU country now. "The European Union has been an important economic partner for Russia. Therefore, Russia's expectations from Putin’s visit to Bregancon are clarification of France’s intentions to become EU leader. The EU is facing changes related to Britain’s exit on October 31, the main negotiator with London is representative of Paris Charles Barnier, and here Moscow wants to understand how France sees the European Union after Brexit," the senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences explained.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, agreed that France is striving to become the leader of the European Union. "Paris is critical of Moscow, but Macron needs Putin very much. Macron is trying to take advantage of Angela Merkel’s departure from the political arena and make France the locomotive of the European Union. Therefore, he needs Putin’s support," he expects.
Russia, in turn, is interested in restoring relations, including the lifting of sanctions. "We have a pragmatic approach and don't ask Europe for anything unreasonable, for example, abandoning its European identity, as the United States does. Russia only seeks to return Europe to a state of normal partnership," Alexei Mukhin concluded.