PARIS – Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron was unexpectedly honest about the virtually imminent downfall of Europe if things went on the way they are now. He acknowledged the grave problems Europe has been facing lately, especially since the Ukrainian crisis in 2014. He stated that the era of Western hegemony is long gone and that new players, like Russia, China and India are leading the charge now.
He expressed concern that Europe would soon fall prey to a new bipolar world, a world split between China and the US. However, the most striking statement was when he stated that, in order to survive, Europe needed to create a “new bloc” and added that this could not be done without Russia.
As to the Ukrainian issue, it’s obvious that meetings of the leaders of Russia, France, Germany, and Ukraine in the Normandy format are going to be resumed. It’s obvious that Kiev urgently needs to decide on Donbass. The new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadim Pristaiko even promises to solve the problem in six months, allowing the “implementation of the Minsk.”
And it is obvious that Russia and Europe are interested in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. But if the Ukrainian crisis is very painful for Russia, for rational Europe, it’s a huge obstacle for establishing relations with Russia, which for the Old World practically became a condition for survival.