Macron pushes for outreach to Russia, new role for France

Macron pushes for outreach to Russia, new role for France
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French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronNATO is not brain dead yet Trump, NATO chief to meet at White House Macron: NATO experiencing 'brain death' MORE is pushing for greater outreach to Russia from the European Union (EU) to keep the Kremlin's global ambitions in check and to avoid the possibility of a new Cold War.

In a speech Tuesday following the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in Biarritz, France, Macron laid out his plans for a role for France as a "balancing power" between Russia and its rivals, and the U.S. and Iran, according to The Associated Press.

The French president did not say whether he wants to lift EU sanctions that were imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, but said that new sanctions "are not in our interest."

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“Pushing Russia from Europe is a profound strategic error,” Macron said, according to the AP. Europe’s “weaknesses and mistakes,” lead Russia to seek alliances with China and revive its influence in Africa, he said.

“It’s not in our interest to be weak and guilty, to forget all our disagreements and to embrace each other again,” he said, while insisting that the "European continent will never be stable, will never be in security, if we don’t pacify and clarify our relations with Russia.”

The French president met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe analysts are wrong: Putin's aggression exposes Russia's decline Pelosi: Trump bribed Ukraine, makes Nixon's offenses 'look almost small' Scarborough: Trump is either 'an agent of Russia' or 'a useful idiot' MORE earlier this month, where they reportedly agreed to boost peace negotiations in Ukraine.

Macron's speech follows his country's hosting of the G-7 summit, during which President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE repeatedly suggested that Russia should be reinstated into the group. The proposal was widely denounced by several politicians, including EU council head Donald Tusk.