Not Like the Others
Moreover, a week before the first round of the election, Macron said he will manage to make himself "respected" by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Unlike others, I am in a position to be respected because I have no debt to Russia in this campaign where unacceptable interference took place," Macron told Jeune Afrique, a French-language weekly news magazine.
On Monday, President Putin congratulated the newly elected French president, confirming readiness for cooperation on crucial issues and expressing hope for overcoming tensions.
"The President of Russia confirmed his readiness for constructive joint work on topical issues on bilateral, regional and global agenda. […] It is especially important to overcome mutual distrust and join efforts to ensure international stability and security," a congratulatory telegram by Putin read.
Successor of Hollande’s Policy
According to the expert, Macron’s foreign policy will be close to "Hollande’s vector" and will be "focused on relations with Germany, especially after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union."
"As for Russia, Macron is likely to continue the policy started by Hollande. Thus, ties between France and Russia will be as complicated and unfriendly as during Hollande’s term," Majed said.
According to the newspaper, the two sides still have common points. In particular, despite Macron’s reserved stance on the Syrian settlement, the new French president, just like Putin, sees as priority the fight against terrorism in the region.
"Thus, there is a fragile bridge for resuming dialogue," the article noted.
At the same time, Macron stands for keeping anti-Russian sanctions in place until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.
"If Russia meets its commitments, then we will gradually lift European sanctions and, in conjunction with Germany, we will strengthen the political and economic partnership of the EU with Russia," Macron told Jeune Afrique in April.
The French newspaper Les Echos noted that despite a downturn in French-Russian relations started in 2014, Macron has sent "certain signals" that Paris is interested to resume bilateral cooperation.
According to the newspaper, in 2016, Macron made several "optimistic statements" on Russia. In particular, he said that "Russia is part of France’s strategic interests."
Les Echos suggested that the first step to normalization could be "sending a French minister to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June," which has not happened in the last three years.
Cherchez la Femmearticle on the future of French-Russian ties under the headline "Macron is elected president. Moscow believes this is Merkel who won."
According to the newspaper, Macron’s victory in the election has left Russia "no hope of having a Eurosceptic leader as the president of France."
"Nevertheless, a woman has won. And this woman is [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel," the newspaper cited a tweet by Russian senator Alexei Pushkov. The article equated the comment with Russia’s official stance on the situation.
According to Le Monde, Moscow sees Macron’s victory first of all as a vote for France staying in the EU.
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