Russian President Vladimir Putin schedules bilateral meetings with Ukrainian, French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Vladimir Zelensky at margins of the Normandy Four Summit in Paris on December 9, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced.
Peskov underlined that the Kremlin expected the Normandy Four summit will contribute to conflict resolution in southeastern Ukraine.
“[Putin’s] attitude is serious, the only expectation is to facilitate efforts to resolve the domestic conflict in southeastern Ukraine, ensure a common understanding that there is no alternative to implementing the Minsk Agreements and prevent attempts to dilute them,” spokesperson said.
Peskov expressed confidence in French authorities capabilities to succeed in creating necessary conditions for thec Summit despite the current protests in Paris.
“We are not inclined to exaggerate the threats the Summit could face as we believe that the French authorities are capable of creating conditions for the meeting and will do it,” Peskov said.
French Emmanuel Macron’s pessimistic diagnosis of NATO “brain dead” has caused the shock waves among Europeans, but apparently that’s a risk the French president is prepared to take, launching alam over non-compliance of some of the Alliance members with democratic standards, namely Turkey belligerent actions. (Image: archive).
In an interview with The Economist magazine, Macron also warned Europeans could no longer rely on the United States to defend its allies and they needed to take security into their own hands.
Although French President has long urged Europe to think of itself as an autonomous “sovereign power”, his verdict on the archaic 70-year old Alliance, conceived father the WWII in a totally different political context, Germany’s Angela Merkel assessed as too “drastic”.
Emmanuel Macron is convinced that the assessment is needed to wake up Europeans to engage in polemics ahead of NATO’s December 4 summit in London.
The franc criticism of NATO came shortly after the grand national funeral to Jaque Chirac who stood against NATO invasion of Iraq. The admiration of French nation to late Chirac for his independent foreign policy, distancing V Republic from American military adventures, known as “wars for oil’ has certainly inspired President Macron to undertake Gaullist stance against the U.S. military might.
The Kremlin was among the enthusiastic observer’s of Macron’s assessment of NATO state of affairs. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova described Macron’s verdict as “golden (precious) words” constituting the “precise definition of the current state of NATO.”
In in the coming weeks the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle (France) will authorize shooting of the wolf, accused of a multitude of herd attacks, especially in the south of the department. the decision announced on July 4th. The licence to kill the last surviving wolf is considered as pro-hunting lobby success, phrasing the understanding and sympathy of President Macron to their passion to spend free time killing wild animals. In March Emmanuel Macron announced that from 17% to 19% of the population of wolves can be slaughtered, while the scientific expertise, commissioned by the Ministry of Ecology, indicates that the permissions to hunt should not to exceed 10% of the estimated number so that the population presenting a numerical balance remains stable.
The wolf protection French NGO CAP Loup launched an appeal the state to abandon its plans to slaughter 500 wolves, and to prioritize the policy of protection of herds. They also insist on inclusion in the National Wolf Plan a precision that shooting a wolf should remain a justifiable exception, as provided for by the derogation rules of Annex IV of the Habitats Directive, and not a political solution of ease that becomes the rule.
French conservationists consider the extermination of 500 wolves is not a reasonable measure, pointing that “France is increasingly in contradiction with the international texts of the Bern Convention and especially the European Habitats Directive”. Limiting the wolf population in France to its current size means keeping it in a “vulnerable” status quo, as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is “not a favorable conservation status”, CAP Loup underlines.
EU leaders suspended Sunday Summit after 20 hours marathon talks failing to produce an agreement on who should be appointed for the bloc’s top jobs, prompting criticism from French President Emmanuel Macron who said Europe’s indecisiveness was damaging its image abroad. (Image above: arrivals).
The failure to reach consensus during 20 hours long night owl negotiations reflected the fragmentation of the bloc’s politics, occurring after the European elections, leaving both center right and left substantially weaker.
President Macron, who left the Council premises shortly after the talks were suspended till Tuesday morning, labeled the breakdown a “failure” though he added an agreement could still be found.
Eastern European countries had strongly objected the candidates, proposed by Macron, and the leaders of Germany and Spain to attribute presidency of the European Commission to Dutch Socialist Fran Timmermans. His candidacy did not inspire Italian either.
The EU leaders discussion of the attribution of bloc’s top jobs started at late dinner concluding agenda of Summit in Brussels (#EUCO). However the chances to come to an agreement remain minimal as France and Germany cast doubt on any imminent deal, also the Eastern European member-states (Vicegrad 4) vividly opposed both leading candidates from biggest European political groups the EPP and S&D for various reasons.
The 28 national leaders meet in Brussels on June 20-21 to assign the top jobs of the bloc for coming years on the entire spectrum of issues.
“In Europe, our coalition of progress must prevail. We need to find the women and men who can carry an ambitious roadmap at the heart of the European institutions. This is a key issue for the European Council meeting today“, French President Emmanuel Macron said at arrival to the European Council.
Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament, was reminiscent of cardinals locked to select a Pope, hinting of disagreements among the member-states, and European political families.
However the nominations should be made before the new European parliament starts its session on July 2 in Strasbourg. By the time the European Council has to announce the major appointments, including the top job of the President of the European Commission, de facto “Prime Minister of Europe“.
President Emmanuel Macron’s candidate to lead a new centrist alliance in the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau said on she was pulling out of the race, in a defiance to French government influence in the parliamenEt.
Nathalie Loiseau was quoted by Belgian newspapers disparaging allies in Renew Europe, formed by Macron’s party and the liberal ALDE, and adding she intends a sweeping overhaul of the group, the third biggest in the European Parliament.
Loiseau was quoted in Le Soir calling ALDE’s longtime leader Guy Verhofstadt “an old git with pent-up frustrations” and branding the conservative European People’s party candidate for Commission president an “ectoplasm”.
Loiseau described the comments, made during an off-record briefing to journalists in Brussels, as “pure fiction” but their leak damaged her credibility just as competition for the leadership intensified. And according to her own words she preferred to renounce her ambition to lead the group.
European Union leaders clashed over future EU institutions top jobs, primary of powerful position of the European Commission president, promising to meet a deadline for appointments at June Summit (20-21/6).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced resistance when French President Emmanuel Macron publicly rejected the Bavarian politician Manfred Weber, her preferred candidate, a center-right (European People’s Party) Member of the European Parliament.
After the EU elections the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) and the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) would no longer be able to form a majority in the European Parliament to determine the next Commission head.
The EPP are have to turn for support to the liberal Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), or/and the Greens, since three groups assembly needed to approve any nomination by the 28 heads of states.
The national government leaders agreed to finalize their nominations at end semester Summit on June 20-21, well ahead Jean-Claude Juncker mandate expiration at the end of October.
Among leading figures to heir the job of Jean-Claude Juncker, next to Manfred Weber, three oher names were announced by the President Macron: Dutch Socialist Frans Timmermans, Danish Liberal Margrethe Vestager,and the EU top Brexit negociator Michel Barnier, “and others”.
At Informal Summit in Brussels the EU leaders bargained behind closed doors, but by the end of the meeting the Council president Donald Tusk announced that there is a target of assigning half of top jobs to women.