Macron would bolster Baltic trust if he didn’t go to Moscow

  • 2020-01-20
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – French President Emmanuel Macron would bolster trust in Lithuania if he rejected Russia's invitation to come to the commemoration of World War II in Moscow, French analyst Nicolas Tenzer says.

In an interview with BNS, the security policy expert said it would be a mistake to observe a military parade in Moscow on May 9, taking into account President Vladimir Putin's unlawful military interventions in Syria and Ukraine and his attempt to distort history.

"I think Macron is a true ally but I would suggest Macron to give more evidence that he is an ally," Tenzer said.

"First of all, to change his narratives towards Russia. He is still planning to go to celebrations on 9th of May. I think it is very very risky and very dangerous not only because of Russian narratives about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – which is a nonsense rewriting history, but also because there could be some troops in the military parade that were committing massacres in Ukraine and in Syria. Putin is also offering a ribbon of St. George to Macron, which is a symbol of Russian nationalism and even revisionism, which could be very dangerous," the security expert said.

Tenzer also suggest that Macron should appoint a special envoy for Eastern and Central European affairs to unambiguously state the significance of NATO as Europe will not have sufficient capability to take care of its security independently for at least several decades.

"He has to give more assurance that NATO is absolutely needed right now. We can talk about a strategic autonomy but a strategic autonomy is something that we can build in 20 or 25 years and the EU is not providing such guarantees that the NATO Article V is offering," the analyst says.

"Thirdly, he has to appoint a special envoy to the Eastern and Central European countries, like the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia. Such an envoy should be a special representative to Macron, reporting directly to him. It would show that he has a genuine interest in these countries – and not only EU countries, but countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Serbia, Macedonia, Moldova," Tenzer said.

Tenzer lectures at the prestigious Paris-based institute of political studies (CERAP) and is the editor of the Le Banquet magazine. He attended the traditional Snow Meeting of security and defense experts in Lithuania.