The words of French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about their desire to talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin are probably hypothetical. This opinion was shared by the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov in an interview with journalist Pavel Zarubin.
“Both Mr. Scholz and Mr. Macron – they repeatedly declare this. And, of course, there we are talking more about a hypothetical intention to communicate with each other no matter what – this is an absolutely normal attribute of international relations, ”Peskov said.
At the same time, he believes that such communication in the case of Scholz would benefit relations between Moscow and Berlin, since it would allow the chancellor to take the position of the Russian authorities from the original source.
“Maybe, at least for a second, this would allow Berlin to throw off the blinders that do not allow them to soberly assess the situation,” the Kremlin spokesman added. According to Peskov, there is still no specifics on the prospects for Putin’s telephone conversations with Macron or Scholz.
On June 10, at a congress of the German Protestant Church in Nuremberg, Scholz announced that he would contact Putin in the near future and urge him to withdraw troops from Ukraine. “I intend to do it [talk to Putin] again soon. Negotiations are normal. The question is who is negotiating with whom and about what,” the Chancellor said.
He also stressed that the main condition for a “just peace” would be the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territories, and Moscow “needs to understand this.” The last telephone conversation between Putin and Scholz took place in December 2022.
Prior to this, on May 26, Scholz, in an interview with the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper, promised to resume contacts with Putin after almost half a year of silence. “It’s been a while since my last phone call. But I plan to talk to Putin again in due time,” the head of the German government said.
After that, Peskov said that Scholz “had not called” Putin yet, and there had been no offers from Germany to hold telephone conversations. At the same time, he stressed that the Russian president always remains open for dialogue.
Macron spoke about possible new telephone contacts with Putin at a press conference following the European Political Community summit in Moldova on June 1. “If such an opportunity presents itself, I do not exclude it,” the French president said then and added that Paris is ready for contacts with all partners.
He recalled that since the beginning of the armed conflict in Ukraine, he had repeatedly called Putin. These calls made the French president the hero of memes, both in Russia and in the West. The authors of the images circulating on social networks reminded that Macron regularly called up the Russian leader both before and after the start of the special operation in Ukraine. In particular, the negotiations between the two heads of state took place on February 19, 20, 2022, on the day the special operation began on February 24. On February 28, Macron called Putin at the request of Vladimir Zelensky, and on March 3, the leaders discussed the situation in Ukraine for an hour and a half.
Due to such frequent calls, netizens began to compare Macron with a psychologist who solves the problems of conflicting parties, called the French president a “phone booth”. In addition, jokes began to circulate on social networks that, due to some break in communication with Putin, Macron is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, because he is addicted to telephone conversations like a drug. According to official Kremlin figures, the last telephone conversation between the two presidents took place in September last year.