Counting days, World War III enthusiast, Macron will leave

Ogunsakin Mustapha
9 Min Read

By Owei Lakemfa

HIS Excellency Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, is a pendulum. He dangles across political and ideological lines. Sometimes, he seems to forget what he said in the morning. It is therefore not surprising that in the Russo-Ukrainian War, he has swung from being a peacemaker in 2022, to an advocate of damaging Russia without destroying it, on to demanding in 2024, an outright invasion and destruction of Russia.

I am sure he is not so daft not to realise that his advocacy to militarily overrun Moscow, is an invitation to a Third World War. I don’t know if he cares; his objectives are to grab the headlines and, position himself as the leader of the so-called free world.

The contemporary Ukrainian political crises began in November 2004 following disputed presidential election re-run between the pro- Russian candidate from the Eastern Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko which was won by the former. What followed were street protests in some parts of the country, and the election results were annulled. In the second re-run, Yushchenko was declared winner and was sworn-in as President. This was called the ‘Orange Revolution’.

In the 2010 elections, Yanukovych, the pro-Russian candidate, again, won. This time, his election was not annulled. However, when, three years later, his government decided to sign a trade pact with Russia, rather than the European Union, pro-West forces staged street protests and on February 21, 2014, President Yanukovych fled the capital, Kyiv. Next day, the parliament, claiming that the President had withdrawn from his constitutional duties by fleeing the capital, removed him from office.

Eastern Ukraine protested that it was the second time it was being deprived of the presidency it had won through the ballot box. It therefore refused to recognise the new government, insisting that only a democratically elected President can preside over the country. This led to a civil war in which the Ukrainian armed forces, backed by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, took on the Russian–backed rebels.

Two peace accords were signed in Minsk, capital of Belarus, to end the conflict. The Minsk Peace agreements provided for a ceasefire, constitutional reforms, including decentralisation, a federal system and special status for the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

This was where Macron came in. He, like the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, pressed that the peace accords signed by all sides, should be implemented. But the then Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko, refused to implement them. He insisted on conquering the rebels.

However, Volodymyr Zelensky, as a candidate, campaigned that he would implement the peace accords. He told the Eastern Ukrainians that he would “continue in the direction of the Minsk Talks and head towards concluding a ceasefire”. But after his 2019 election, he reneged and, rather, sent troops to overrun that part of the country.

Justifying his sabotage of the peace agreements, Zelensky in an interview with the German newspaper, Der Spiegel, published on February 9, 2023, said: “Procrastination is perfectly fine in diplomacy”. He added that he merely “jumped on the (peace) train” to deceive Russia and prepare for war.

Former French President, Francois Hollande, confirmed that Ukraine was not interested in a peaceful resolution of the civil war. He said: “Since 2014, Ukraine has strengthened its military posture. Indeed, the Ukrainian army was completely different from that of 2014. It was better trained and equipped. It is the merit of the Minsk Agreements to have given the Ukrainian army this opportunity.”

Merkel also confirmed that rather than seek a peaceful resolution of the differences in the country, Ukraine decided to stockpile Western weapons, strengthen its armed forces and prepare for war with Russia.

Former Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennet, said he thought the Russo-Ukrainian War was avoidable. So, he decided to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine, but that the United States and Europe blocked the process, insisting that there is the need “by the West to keep striking Putin” and ensure that the civil war in Ukraine escalated. He reiterated: “They blocked it, and I thought they’re wrong”.

Macron also did not agree Europe should encourage war in Ukraine rather than peace. On February 7, 2022, he met President Vladmir Putin in the Kremlin. On February 22, 2022, Russia decided to support the Ukrainian rebels military by attacking Ukraine. Despite this, Macron kept an open communication line with Russia.

Following the war, he changed his attitude towards Russia. Putin said of this: “At some point, the French President stopped the relationship with us. We didn’t do it, I didn’t. He did. If there’s interest, we’re ready. If not, we’ll cope.”

Then on Saturday, February 18, 2023, Macron moved to advocate the defeat of Russia, but not its humiliation. He told the Le Journal du Dimanche paper: “I do not think, as some people do, that we must aim for a total defeat of Russia, attacking Russia on its own soil. Those observers want to, above all else, crush Russia. That has never been the position of France and it will never be our position.”

At the end of February, 2024, Macron had completely changed his position. He said: “We are convinced that the defeat of Russia is indispensable for stability and security in Europe…We are determined to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes” to help Ukraine defeat Russia. Then he dropped the bombshell: “There is no consensus today to send (NATO) ground forces in an official, acknowledged and approved manner. But in a dynamic situation, nothing should be ruled out. We’ll do everything necessary so that Russia cannot win this war.”

So, does Macron think that Russia, a nuclear power, would watch NATO forces stroll into Moscow? It is like expecting the United States to watch foreign troops march across New York and seize Washington.

Even if Macron is suicidal, I am sure NATO is not. It is aware that even in a conventional warfare, the prize of its troops taking on Russia, will be quite high. Other Europeans are not as daft as Ukraine that is using its youths as cannon fodder. Also, NATO as an alliance, is smart enough to realise that it is not the only game in the world. In other words, in the event of war, Russia will have allies.

Thirdly, NATO is smart enough to know that while the first and second all-European wars of the 20th Century, christened the First and Second World Wars, were fought with conventional weapons, the third one will not be fought only with such weapons.

Since humanity is not ready for the Third World War, it is logical to ask when Macron will leave the French Presidency; 2027 may be too far.

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