Distancing of Russia a 'major error' for European Union: Emmanuel Macron

File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron accused Russia of engaging in historical revisionism on World War II but said during a visit to Poland on Tuesday that a strong Europe needs to remain open to honest dialogue with Moscow.

Macron addressed students and faculty members at Jagiellonian University in Krakow on the second day of his trip to Poland. Both the French leader and Polish officials called the visit a breakthrough for relations between their countries.

While speaking at the university, Macron condemned the Kremlin's recent efforts to blame the outbreak of World War II on acts by Poland and some western European governments.

He said "scientific and historical facts" clearly show that Poland, which was occupied by Nazi Germany throughout the war, was a victim and suffered immense losses in its population.

While Moscow's misrepresenting of facts needs to be kept in mind, Macron stressed that Russia is part of Europe geographically and should not be isolated as the EU looks toward the future following Britain's departure last week.

I am convinced that we can build an architecture of stability, of peace, of trust in Europe only if we talk with Russia but not yield things to Russia, not forget what it did or what it does, but demand a deescalation, Macron said.

I think it a major error to distance ourselves from a part of Europe that we don't feel comfortable about, Macron said.

French companies engaged in trade with Russia have pressured Macron to repair relations with Moscow and to ease economic sanctions.

The companies are central to Macron's political base.

The Polish government favors maintaining EU sanctions on Russia for its activities in Ukraine, including the 2014 seizure of Crimea.

Another reason for Macron reaching out to Russia is his disillusionment with US foreign policy under President Donald Trump, who has made important decisions without without consulting European allies.

Commenting on France's view of Moscow, Poland's ambassador to France, Tomasz Mlynarski, said the European Union should speak with one voice in its dialogue with Russia and that there was no room for avant-garde ideas.

Poland's relations with Russia are strained, and recent remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin about the start of the war have added to the tension. Poland rejected the allegations as untrue.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Tuesday that Poland has not yet been invited to ceremonies scheduled for May 9 in Moscow to commemorate the end of World War II.


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel