Espreso. Global

Macron has won political victory over Putin by turning chessboard upside down - Piontkovsky

23 March, 2024 Saturday

Andrey Piontkovsky, a political expert from Washington, notes that Macron, with his concept of "no red lines, we do not exclude anything," deprived Putin of blackmailing opportunity

He spoke about this on Espreso TV.

"I repeat Macron's important thesis that the only European army currently exists in Ukraine, and it needs to be reinforced with weapons. And his formulation is very important - no red lines. I do not exclude anything, including sending French soldiers and troops from other countries. And Macron's emphasis is that their servicemen are already participating in the war in Ukraine, noting that British and French specialists are servicing the Storm Shadow and SCALP systems provided to Ukraine. I believe that this concept of Western military involvement is primarily aimed at the issue related to aircraft. Look: there are no political obstacles to supplying aircraft; the Americans have removed them, and there are no economic issues - it's a matter of logistics," noted Andrey Piontkovsky.

According to him, success requires not dozens, but two hundred aircraft, yet it's impossible to train Ukrainian pilots for two hundred aircraft. The issue is not just about pilots because for every pilot, there are five support personnel, including aerodromes. Macron's concept to redirect aviation from NATO countries could solve the war issue.

"The French, Europeans, cannot abandon Ukraine now because they understand very well that they are next, and no Trump will protect them. And no one will protect them except the Ukrainian army, but provided with the supply of modern Western weapons. That's the essence of Macron's concept, in my opinion. Europe is already supplying a sufficient amount of armament. Macron has already achieved a political victory over Putin; he has turned the chessboard by saying that French troops are already there and that he imposes no restrictions. Putin immediately reacted to this initiative, and this is the best illustration of his plans for his 5th presidency. On the first day, he said, and this was his first reaction, that we (Russia - ed.) can strike French territory and that we have not only conventional weapons. Macron immediately responded that France also has nuclear weapons. And with this, Putin's threats were immediately nullified," commented the political expert.

According to him, there is currently a discussion unfolding on all Russian patriotic channels, the so-called Z-trash is outraged and says that essentially Macron declared war on Putin, on Russia. And Russian patriots are asking why haven't we struck France yet?

"So they haven't struck because they understand perfectly well that if they were to strike France, Germany, Poland, or any other country, Article 5 of NATO would immediately come into effect, and in response to Putin, a counterstrike would be launched. Essentially, by striking French territory, he would trigger the entire NATO arsenal against himself. He's no longer worried about whether the Dutch will provide 40 or 60 aircraft; he's concerned that potentially all 6,000 F-16 aircraft in NATO could be used against him, and he understands this. With his concept of 'no red lines, we do not exclude anything,' Macron deprived Putin of the ability to blackmail him, leaving him with no response," summarized Piontkovsky.

Presence of NATO forces in Ukraine

On February 26, about 20 European leaders met in Paris to discuss the threats posed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. They were addressed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

After the conference, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the deployment of Western ground troops to combat Russian aggression should not be ruled out in the future.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico confirmed that some NATO and EU member states are allegedly discussing the possibility of sending their troops to Ukraine after signing bilateral agreements with Kyiv.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the leaders of the Alliance stated that no general decision had been made to send troops to Ukraine, while Russia called the move a declaration of war.

On February 29, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that Western leaders should not rule out the possibility of sending ground troops to Ukraine.

On March 4, Macron said that he would not send troops to Ukraine in the near future, but opened a debate on the issue.

On March 5, Macron called on allies "not to be cowards" with regard to Ukraine and to step up. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius responded to his call.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the discussion provoked by French President Emmanuel Macron's words about the deployment of Western troops in Ukraine would save Europe a lot of time in realizing that more needs to be done.

On March 11, Czech President Petr Pavel said that the support of Ukraine by NATO troops directly on its territory would not violate any international norms.

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