The Tensions and Contradictions in Macron’s Diplomacy With Russia and Turkey

French President Emmanuel Macron during a joint news conference with Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Oct. 27, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).
French President Emmanuel Macron during a joint news conference with Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, Oct. 27, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

French President Emmanuel Macron has taken an activist approach recently to a range of thorny and persistent challenges in and around Europe. As part of that agenda, he has been at the forefront of efforts to confront Russia and Turkey over their neo-imperialist policies. In both cases, Macron has taken a hands-on role, putting himself in the spotlight with high-profile initiatives and tough rhetoric. But that is the only common feature of his highly personalized diplomacy. France has different goals with Russia and Turkey. It has therefore played its hand differently in the two cases, with differing results. France’s relations […]

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