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    Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 presidential election, attends a meeting in Reims, France March 17, 2017

    French President-Elect Macron May Seek Closer Ties With Germany, Not Russia

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    The policies of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron, including his approach to Russia and the issue of pulling back NATO armaments from the Russian border, are uncertain, political observers said to Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — As the youngest leader in French history since Napoleon Bonaparte, Emmanuel Macron’s lack of experience may make him more unpredictable, apart from wanting to put ties with Germany and the European Union above other considerations, analysts told Sputnik.

    "[Macron] is right of center, in terms of government restraint in domestic policy," retired Brown University Assistant Economics Professor Barry Friedman said on Tuesday. "His foreign policy is unknown except it seems to favor close European integration."

    Macron’s fundamental weakness is the lack of a political base in the French parliament, the National Assembly that he can rely upon to loyally support him, Friedman pointed out.

    "He is a man without a party. He is still awaiting parliamentary elections to see who he will have to work with," he said.

    Macron is likely to seek to work closely with the European Commission that runs the European Union in Brussels and with veteran German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany, Friedman predicted.

    "We will have to get used to more French and German in European forums," he said.

    Macron’s eventual attitude on Russia and on the issue of pulling back NATO armaments from the Russian border and rethinking the future status of Ukraine remain uncertain, Friedman cautioned.

    "It is so hard to predict in view of his youth and lack of relevant public responsibilities," he explained.

    Macron has already indicated his ambition to make progress on trying to end the civil war in Syria, but that would require cooperating with Russia and other groups in the Middle East and his attitudes toward them remained far from clear, Friedman pointed out.

    "As for Syria, maybe he wants to try something more of a peacemaking role rather than working only through the UN? If so, he has to collaborate with the Russians, the Turks and farther east the Kurds and Iraqi Sunnis," he said.

    Woodrow Wilson Center economic analyst Shihoko Goto agreed that Macron faced a shaky start to his presidency despite the relief and goodwill he enjoyed from supporters of the European Union.

    "This is a victory for proponents of open markets and the rule of law, as much as it is for the leader of En Marche [Macron]! For those outside of Europe, it is the clearest sign yet that the European Union still can not only survive, but potentially thrive," she said.

    However, Macron faced serious challenges it was by no means clear he could surmount, Goto acknowledged.

    "The fact remains that confidence in Europe still remains shaky and unless Macron is able to tackle the high unemployment and social unrest plaguing France, his leadership will be on shaky ground," she said.

    The anger that propelled the Front National of Macron ‘s second round opponent Marine Le Pen to the forefront remains, and still is prevalent across the European continent, Goto pointed out.

    Results of the French Presidential Election
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    Results of the French Presidential Election
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    Macron Wins French Presidential Election (53)

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