France’s Macron proves the West is playing Russian roulette with Ukraine

French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks were apparently made out of turn and drew a harsh rebuke from the French allies in the US, Germany, and Poland. Picture: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks were apparently made out of turn and drew a harsh rebuke from the French allies in the US, Germany, and Poland. Picture: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Published Mar 3, 2024


AT a time of growing global concern over a scarcity of talks aimed at a truce in the two-year-old conflict in Ukraine, irresponsible utterances by the French President Emmanuel Macron can only serve to give credence to suspicion that Europe has every intention of not only prolonging the war but instead to escalate it.

Speaking this week on the sidelines of a European leaders’ conference in Paris looking into, among others, the Ukraine war, Macron told reporters that it was a real possibility that Nato could send soldiers to Ukraine to shore up the pummelling of fighters in the Ukrainian Defence Force.

The remarks by Macron were apparently made out of turn and drew a harsh rebuke from the French allies in the US, Germany, and Poland.

Predictably, the Kremlin swiftly issued a stern warning to Macron and Nato, saying that such a move would mark plain escalation in the war.

Speaking during his annual State of the Nation address this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to respond to Macron’s threats when he said: “The consequences of any intervention (by Nato in Ukraine) will be much more tragic.”

Putin also warned that “Russia’s strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness”. He also revealed that “work on new weapons in the country is continuing” and more details in this regard will be communicated in due course.

Putin further reiterated his previous claim that the West was hell-bent on attempting to destroy Russia by defeating it through their material and military support for the Ukrainian forces.

“The West underestimated the determination and steadfastness of Russia’s multinational population. Today, Russia’s sovereignty is being strengthened in various aspects, including internally,” Putin said.

Additionally, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, said: “The very fact of (EU leaders) discussing the possibility of sending certain contingents to Ukraine from Nato countries is a very important new element.”

Peskov added that sending boots on the ground in Ukraine was “absolutely not in the interest of the Nato countries”. In that case, Peskov warned, “we would need to talk not about the probability, but about the inevitability” of a direct and escalated conflict between the nuclear-powered Russian Federation and Nato.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg echoed the sentiments of his close allies from the US, Germany and Poland, saying categorically: “There are no plans for Nato combat troops on the ground in Ukraine.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed that whereas participants at the Paris conference did discuss the matter of sending Nato troops to fight on the side of Ukraine, the resolution was the exact opposite of what the French president had said.

“We agreed that there will be no ground troops,” Scholz said, (there would be) “no soldiers on Ukrainian soil who are sent there by European states or Nato states.”

Now, the swift rebuttal of President Macron’s claims by his closest allies can only be described as reassuring. Their anti-escalation words are a relative breadth of fresh air when compared to the usual sabre-rattling of the Western leaders in their constant expression of Russophobia.

Collectively, in my humble opinion, their words give peace a chance. Various Russian leaders including veteran Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have decried the West’s systematic pressurising of Kyiv not to want to enter into a negotiated settlement with Moscow and finally bring to an end a war all sides claim not to want.

Moscow has long decried Nato’s reneging from their post-Cold War undertaking never to expand eastward to Russia’s doorstep as that would pose a direct existential threat to Russia and the country’s national security.

However, the concerns were dismissed by the West and in some instances laughed off by a Nato that no longer showed any respect or regard for the Russian Federation.

For Russia, the straw that broke the camel’s back appeared to have been public programmes by Western leaders to lure Ukraine – Russia’s next-door neighbour – to Nato’s fold.

Such a move has many negative implications for Russia, and the international community. As President Putin said two years in the lead-up to the war, “Nato setting up military bases in Ukraine meant bombs a mere 10 minutes away before reaching Moscow”.

From the documented public discourse, the war in Ukraine could have easily been avoided had imperial agendas laced with brinkmanship not taken over the will to sit around the table and talk.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently revealed that his country has thus far lost more than 31 000 soldiers since the war started.

Tens of thousands more had been wounded, maimed, many more lost their limbs and scores are permanently disabled and mentally scarred on both sides of the divide.

As for the West, they have totally removed the desire to negotiate from the Ukrainian wish list, and replaced it with pledges of billions of dollars, endless aid, reconstruction and development in a post-war architecture the West hope will be marked by a defeated Russia.

When Ukraine was on the brink of signing a peace deal with Russia in the early days of the conflict, it was former UK Prime Minister with a Russian name, Boris Johnson, who flew to Kyiv and desperately yet successfully dissuaded Zelensky from entering into any agreement with Russia.

What does the West stand to gain in their proxy war against Russia? A lot, that’s my short answer. A global architecture characterised by a fragmented and weakened Russia means there would be very little to no opposition to the US-led Western hegemony.

With a defeated Russia, the West will then set their eyes on China, buoyed by the remaining solitary ideological opponent in Beijing who would certainly be weaker without a trusted ally in Russia.

The West, following an extended period of international relations domination, struggles with the reconfiguration of a global order that challenges their hegemony.

The revival of Nato and its repositioning from a defensive to an offensive military formation is largely as a consequence of a subtle objective to cow down opponents into line.

Far from a defensive organisation, Nato is a vehicle of the West to run a parallel structure alongside the UN Security Council.

The emergence or existence of any force that threatens the Western dominance of the global order is a major threat that must be confronted collectively under the guise of fostering democracy.

Muammar Gaddafi was once seen as such a threat to the US-led Western hegemony, and the then US President Barrack Obama led a Nato invasion of Libya – at the time the oil-rich Africa’s economic success story and a regional powerhouse that espoused and funded Pan-African project including the African Union.

Today, Russia stands as an undesired direct threat to Western dominance of the emerging world - of the developing economies of the global order. So is China, and by extension BRICS.

These are the entities that will be challenged and discredited through adverse media coverage dominated by the self-righteous Western narrative.

These are some of the reasons behind Ukraine’s well-funded war with Russia. It is not Ukraine’s war. It is the war of the West, fought on the Ukrainian soil, by the Ukrainian soldiers.

The protagonists of the war fund it open-endedly in the desperate hope that Russia will eventually tire or run out of ammunition, or personnel. The West is playing Russian roulette with Ukraine. Scandalous!