Macron Reaches Out to East Europe Nations for Unity Against Russia, Leads Efforts at Military Preparedness

French President Emmanuel Macron will make a diplomatic push to reassure central and eastern European countries that France understands the security concerns that has permanently changed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Macron will call for a “strategic awakening” in a speech in the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, on Wednesday and highlight the work done by France to protect NATO’s allies in the East including posting 1,250 French troops in Romania and 300 in Estonia, The Guardian reported.

Emmanuel Macron is trying to strengthen solidarity with Eastern Europe as he seeks to lead European efforts to boost the Europe’s military preparedness and co-ordination on its eastern flank.

He will visit Slovakia on Wednesday where he will attend a security conference in Bratislava and Moldova on Thursday to attend the second European Political Community Summit.

Macron has been viewed with suspicion across eastern Europe, especially in Poland, as a leader who sees Russia as part of Europe’s security architecture and who wishes to use the Ukraine war to boost European defence autonomy, the report said.

In Moldova, 27 EU members, 20 more leaders have been invited from countries with as varied strategic interests as the United Kingdom, Turkey, Switzerland, Iceland, Serbia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Macron will stress France’s commitment to Ukraine’s victory and say he will not tolerate a frozen conflict.

With the meeting, the European leaders want to send a strong signal of support to Moldova, Europe’s poorest country which is a regular target of destabilisation campaigns by Russia, the National News said.

A French senior official said Macron has already sanctioned an increase of more than a third in France’s defence spending for 2024-30 compared to previous six years as the French President sees no prospect of an end to the new cold war any time soon.

He will further argue that Europe needs to do more to support its own armament production capacity and explore defence partnerships between member states.

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    first published: May 31, 2023, 13:10 IST

    last updated: May 31, 2023, 13:23 IST