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What’s Right About France’s Overtures Toward Russia?

Summary:
French President Emmanuel Macron's new policy of engagement toward Russia carries significant risks – not least because Russia persists in the behaviors that caused its relations with Europe to deteriorate in the first place. But seeking a rapprochement makes more sense than persisting with failed Western efforts at containment. PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron is convinced that now is the right time to reset relations with Russia. He has therefore made it a diplomatic priority to restore a climate of trust between Paris and Moscow. Three compelling reasons underlie this move. The Constitution Won’t Save American Democracy Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

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French President Emmanuel Macron's new policy of engagement toward Russia carries significant risks – not least because Russia persists in the behaviors that caused its relations with Europe to deteriorate in the first place. But seeking a rapprochement makes more sense than persisting with failed Western efforts at containment.

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron is convinced that now is the right time to reset relations with Russia. He has therefore made it a diplomatic priority to restore a climate of trust between Paris and Moscow. Three compelling reasons underlie this move.

First and foremost, the international strategic context has changed dramatically. China is rising, while the United States, although still the world’s dominant power, is distancing itself from its global responsibilities. And Russia, with an aging, shrinking population and a huge, largely uninhabited landmass, is a natural prey for China’s long-term ambitions.

European leaders should not resign themselves...

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