Ukraine, MEP Raphaël Glucksmann: “Dialogue with Putin does not work, there is no rationality”

Of Stefano Montefiori

French MEP Raphal Glucksmann and the paranoid speech of the Russian president: the diplomatic efforts of us Europeans would have been more credible if preceded, not followed by sanctions

The suspension of the North Stream 2 pipeline decided by Chancellor Scholz the passage to a higher level, finally. Now we must go ahead and hit with harsh sanctions that mixture of ideology and kleptocracy that the Putin system.

Raphal Glucksmann, 42, has been dealing with Putin for a lifetime. His father, the late Andr, defended the Chechens under the bombing of the Kremlin in 2008 Raphal was an advisor to President Saakashvili in Tbilisi when Russia intervened in Georgia and since 2019, Left-wing member of the European Parliament, denounces and fights Putin’s hybrid war as chairman of the commission on foreign interference in EU democratic processes.

How can sanctions work?

They could break that pact between oligarchs under which one can conduct an extremely aggressive policy against the West and continue to live like nabobs on the Cote d’Azur, Sardinia or Courchevel. The point is to show the pillars of the Russian regime that this policy has an unsustainable cost for them. I hope that the sanctions will have an effect not so much on Putin, who is now irrecoverable, but on the Putin system. Some of him could make him understand that he is exaggerating.

Was the Russian president’s speech a paranoid, as the Elysée says?

The West has long thought that Putin was tough, sure, but rational. That nostalgic speech not even of the USSR but of Tsarist imperial Russia demonstrates instead that Putin no longer has the same codes of rationality as ours. So the work of dialogue, of seduction, of healing bilateral relations, does not work.

Was Macron wrong to try to mediate?

No, I’m not saying that, we had to talk to Putin. I just think that the diplomatic efforts of us Europeans would have been more credible if preceded, not followed, by serious sanctions, not only symbolic as was the case until the day before yesterday. Putin is a bully who dominates the schoolyard until he finds someone who says “enough is enough”. I’m sorry to put it that way, but I think it’s true.

Could it be that Putin underestimated the Western reaction?

I hope we will prove it now. Putin is convinced that he has always won because democracies in his eyes are weak by nature. It may have been said, “both at the first hypothesis of sanctions the trade union of hoteliers of the Alps protests for the lack of income from tourism”. Here is the time to prove him wrong.

Why are so many in the West sensitive to his rhetoric? the eternal anti-American reflex?

I think it is also the desire not to react. If we have to make the effort to face the external threat, then it is more convenient to delude ourselves that everything always depends on us. And instead, in his speech Putin showed that the problem was never really NATO but the very existence of democratic Ukraine and the European Union alongside him. He says it first, just listen to him.

Do you expect Russian interference in the next French presidential elections?

Of course, in recent years the Kremlin has always tried to influence the Western elections, against Macron already in 2017. And I find it fascinating that half of the candidates, from Marine Le Pen to Eric Zemmour, are pandering to Russian rhetoric to humiliate the head of state. of France. The nationalists, French but also Italian or Hungarian, choose without batting an eye the opponent of their country and adopt the point of view of the godfather of the anti-democratic and anti-liberal International. They proclaim themselves patriots, and are the first to put themselves at the service of a foreign tyrant.

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