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Macron Insists, There Is No Strategic Stability without Dialogue with Russia

Feb. 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an address at the War College (Ecole de Guerre) in Paris on Feb. 7, in which he argued that dialogue with Russia was a necessary component of enhancing strategic stability in the world. At the outset Macron said that he was the first President to visit the Ecole de Guerre since 1959, when Charles de Gaulle announced the formation of France’s “force de frappe,” its nuclear weapons force. The world is a very different place now, than it was in de Gaulle’s time, said Macron. After describing the paradigm shifts that are challenging the “multilateral world order,” Macron laid out a clearly post-Brexit vision of the European role in strategic stability, with a heavy focus on arms control and European relations with Russia.

Macron asserted that strategic stability, today, is not guaranteed and cannot be achieved without a dialogue with Russia. “Europeans must first and foremost define together what their security interests are and sovereignly decide what is good for Europe,” he said. “Thus, there can be no defense and security project of European citizens without political vision seeking to advance gradual rebuilding of confidence with Russia.”

“I expect Russia to be a constructive player in our common security,” Macron continued.

“But we cannot be satisfied with the current situation, in which the divide between us is growing and dialogue is weakening precisely at a time when the number of security issues that need to be addressed with Moscow are increasing.”

Macron said that the main objective of his engagement with Russia

“is improvement in collective security and stability conditions in Europe.... It will require patience, and high demands, and it will be conducted with our European partners. But we have no interest in delegating such a dialogue to others, nor lock ourselves in the present situation.”

Macron called for Europe to propose, together, an international arms control agenda, to prevent “the possibility of a return of pure unhindered military and nuclear competition by 2021” in the aftermath of the collapse of the INF Treaty and the uncertain future of New START.

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