SocraticGadfly: The Putin-Macron phone call — the REST of the story

June 30, 2022

The Putin-Macron phone call — the REST of the story

Cue up your Paul Harvey dulcet tones.

Many media sites, especially across the pond, reported earlier this week on a Feb. 20 call between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Putin flippantly (allegely flippantly) telling Macron, "To be honest, I wanted to go play ice hockey" rather than have a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden to cut off the looming Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here's the Daily Mail's version.

The rest of the story? 

It starts with Putin complaining to Macron about Ukraine breaking the Minsk Agreements. As they have. And, this is important because France and Germany were the lead negotiators of these Minsk Agreements, and Putin is telling Macron, not just did Ukraine break them, but you know they did.

We need direct quotes at this point. Here's Putin:

'What can I say? You yourself see what is happening,' retorted Putin, accusing Ukraine of rupturing the Minsk accords that reduced the scale of a conflict that erupted in 2014. ... 
'In fact our dear colleague Mr Zelensky is doing nothing' to apply the Minsk accords, Putin alleged. 'He is lying to you,' he added, also accusing Macron of seeking to revise Minsk.

And, here's Macron.

'I don't know if your legal advisor has learned law! As for me I just look at the texts and I try to apply them,' snorted Macron. 
Putin then argued that the propositions of separatists in eastern Ukraine should be taken into account. 'But we don't care about the propositions from the separatists,' snapped Macron.

With that, it's obvious that Putin wouldn't really want to talk to Macron much more either. That's especially true since the "separatists" were promised autonomy within Ukraine under the Minsk Agreements that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, like his predecessors, was breaking.

And, after that, we have Macron letting the cat out of the bag:

'Do not give in to provocations of any kind in the hours and days to come,' he told Putin.

So, provocations, eh? And Zelenskyy not acting alone in this, perhaps, but rather, as I said in my piece about peace talks, NATO "barking" at Russia, per the one and only Pope Francis.

Rather than, like the Daily Mail, and whover its "they" is that thinks Macron came off as weak, rather, I think he got busted on trying to play "good cop" to Biden's "bad cop."

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