In Sputnik France:
The statement of the French President calling Russia “threatening” a few days before the commemoration of the Great War’s end “hugely contradicts the announced spirit of the commemorations,” said the French historian Edouard Husson. According to him, in the 20th Century it is the Russian people who saved France twice over.
In an article for Atlantico, contemporary political historian Edouard Husson described as “paradoxical” the statement made by Emmanuel Macron on November 6th in Verdun.
“We will not protect the Europeans if we do not decide to have a real European army against the Russia that is on our borders and has shown that it can be threatening,” the French President pronounced.
According to Mr. Husson, Macron’s remarks “hugely contradict the announced spirit of the commemorations” for the end of the First World War.” He indicated that France owes its existence to the Russian people since “without the heroic fight and the enormous losses of the Tsarist army in the fall of 1914, the German army would have had enough divisions to bring back to the west to crush our army. ”
“Five million deaths, civilian and military, during the First World War; 27 million deaths, civilian and military, between 1941 and 1945. Such is the tribute paid by the Empire of the tsars and the Soviet Union to defend freedom in Europe,” he said.
Mr Husson believes that the words of the French President are all the more surprising since they were held a few days before Vladimir Putin’s visit to France.
“Whatever the grievances against Russia or its government, is it time to put forward litigation or remember what brings us closer?” he asked.
Moreover, he says that European security can not be “anti-Russian.”
“Without an agreement with Russia, how can we seriously think of placing the European continent in a balance with Asia? How can we claim, in 2018, to seriously fight Islamism and its militia without close cooperation with Moscow?” he added.
On Tuesday, 16 October, Russian presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov confirmed Vladimir Putin’s visit to Paris for the November 11 commemoration. The official added that the Russian head of state “would attend the working breakfast organized by President Macron”.
Vladimir Putin will also take advantage of his visit to lay flowers at the memorial of the Russian Expeditionary Force in Paris,* force of the Russian Imperial Army engaged in the fighting of the First World War on the French front.
*Tass has an article in English about this memorial, from which I quote:
“In just three days about five thousand soldiers of the Russian Expeditionary Force died while fighting for our country. This monument will help restore historical justice and serve as a reminder about the role of the Russian army in the history of France. I believe that the role of the Expeditionary Force has special significance in the Russian history of World War I, too. The Russian Empire lost about 1.7 million lives in it,” he said.