Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to France is being hailed as a revolutionary turn in the European Union’s policy toward Moscow. While that would be a step in the right direction, rumors of it might be greatly exaggerated.
Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron certainly seemed all smiles at their meeting in Bregancon on Monday, leading respected international commentator John Laughland to declare that “On every level, the West has now abandoned its earlier hostility to Putin and Russia.”
Also on rt.com
Putin-Macron meeting heralds glorious summer after long winter of discontent
The meeting took place just a few days ahead of the G7 summit in France, to which Putin was not invited; Russia has been suspended from the group of industrialized nations since 2014, after the US and UK blamed it for the crisis in Ukraine.
None other than US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that it would be “much more appropriate to have Russia” back in the G8 again, no doubt triggering every Russia “expert” on three continents.
It is certainly tempting to believe that Macron and Trump have somehow come to realize the wisdom of Putin’s speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference, in which he warned about the perils of unipolarity, disdain for international law, and US attempts to impose its will on the rest of the world. After all, Trump himself has mused about better relations with Russia and advocated sovereignty over imperialism in his UN speeches.
Yet as the Russian leadership is keenly aware, Western politicians’ words are one thing, and deeds quite another. Even as he talked sovereignty, Trump has doubled down on trying to force Iran, North Korea and Venezuela into submission to US dictates, and his State Department continues to support “moderate rebels” (aka Al-Qaeda terrorists) in Syria. He has also ratcheted up sanctions against Russia started by his predecessor, perhaps pressured by his critics harping on the ‘Russiagate’ conspiracy for years.
Also on rt.com
Trump says he could support Russia’s return to G8
Meanwhile, Macron just could not help himself,