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Macron’s ‘hopes’ dashed after President snubbed by Kremlin over negotiations 'hotline'




Since Putin invaded Ukraine last month, Mr Erdogan has been the key intermediary between Russia and the West. Throughout the conflict, the Turkish President has had regular dialogue with Putin, as well as Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Belarusian leadership. Mr Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said there was a “network of trust” with Russia that “must absolutely remain open for diplomacy to succeed”.

The spokesperson added Turkey had become the only reliable intermediary between Russia and the West, after Putin “burned his bridges” with all other interlocutors.

However, according to French politics expert Dr Lees, Mr Macron had initially hoped to  fulfil Mr Erdogan’s role as mediator between the West and Russia.

Speaking to the academic said: “I think previously he had quite a positive relationship with Putin, at least in the sense of being a respected world leader and somebody who tries to have a ‘rapprochement’, a conversation with Putin. 

“At one point just before Russia invaded Ukraine there was a sense that there was going to be a hotline between the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin. 

Read More: Ukraine LIVE: ‘Firing squad’ forms in Kremlin chaos in threat to Putin

“That hasn’t really materialised. 

“I know that the French intelligence services are putting out regular updates in the same way as the British Defence Ministry.

“But I think Mr Macron had hoped to be playing the figure that is now occupied by Erdogan in Turkey, as the interlocutor to be able to negotiate between the different parties. 

“He had hoped for that to happen.”

“When Donald Trump was first elected, before Macron was even in office, there was a sense that Macron was trying to look at what Trump was doing economically in particular when he was economics adviser to Francois Holland, and thinking about his own campaign. 

“I think he saw Trump as a potential ally in many ways. When Macron was then elected they had an initial very positive relationship. 

“That deteriorated very fast and in many ways now he sees Putin in the same way. 

“This is not necessarily a positive relationship anymore.

“Actually now the relationship is far more hostile clearly, and Macron has not been pulling his punches when it comes to condemning Putin’s actions.”

Since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Mr Macron has strongly condemned the Russian leader, while the EU along with its Western allies have responded by imposing severe sanctions on Russia.

Yet Macron’s initial attempts at creating dialogue between Moscow and Paris may have been born from historical ties between the two countries. 

Dr Lees explained: “I do think there seems to be a bit of mutual respect there, and I think that’s largely based on the long term relationship between France and Russia. 

“Charles De Gaulle, in the Cold War was someone who tried to present himself as being neither Western nor Russian, as it were. Neither Capitalist or Communist. 

“And that historically has served France well with Russia.”



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Read more: Ryan Garcia and Who is Ryan Garcia Net Worth


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'This is huge' Swedish Air Force jet deployed over Belarus border in threat to Putin




The Scandinavian country is not a member of NATO, but could be ready to trade in its neutral status in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

News of Stockholm’s decision to send a jet was revealed by twitter user Jamming.

They wrote: “Swedish Air Force Korpen active over Poland border area with Belarus.

“Sweden part of surveillance of Belarus and Ukraine!!!

“This is a huge political statement! Update on SwAF Korpen.”


The Gulfstream IV aircraft was tracked taking off from Linking airport and then flying towards the city of Grodno in western Belarus.

It was flying at an altitude of just under 12,000 metres at a speed of 836 kilometres per hour.

Although Sweden is not a NATO member, it is an “enhanced opportunity partner” of the military alliance.

The government also signed a statement in 2018 pledging to strengthen its defence cooperation.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson rejected calls by opposition parties earlier this month for the country to join NATO.

She argued that such a move would further destabilise Europe.

Her statement came in the wake of threats from Moscow that NATO membership would bring “serious military-political consequences” for Sweden.

However, there is growing public support among Swedes for their country to join the transatlantic military alliance.

A poll conducted in late February by broadcaster SVT found that 41 percent of the public supported NATO membership, while thirty-five percent were against.

It was the first time an opinion study in Sweden had found more people in favour of the country joining NATO than were against it.



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Putin humiliated: Russia tries and fails to capture defiant Ukraine village for tenth time




Russia has tried and failed to capture the village of the Chornobaevka ten times, according to Ukrainian presidential adviser Aleksey Arestovich. Videos shared by Ukrainian officials online showed the “tenth defeat of the Russian invaders in Chornobaevka”. The continued failures to capture the village comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last night that his country’s forces had “dealt powerful blows” to the Russian military.

Mr Arestovich told a press conference that Russian troops had tried to take Chornobaevka for the tenth time, but the assault again ended in failure.

Following this, the head of the nearby Mykolaiv Regional State Administration Vitaly Kim published a video showing “the defeat” as explosions erupt on the outskirts of the village.

The resolute village has become famous in Ukraine for its defence, as President Zelensky commended Chornobaivka last weekend for fending off six invasions at the time.

He said: “Ukrainian Chornobaivka will go down in war history. This is a place where the Russian military and their commanders have shown themselves for who they truly are – incompetent, capable of simply handing over their people for slaughter.

“Our military has annihilated the invaders near Chornobaivka six times.

“Six times, yet they keep coming back.”

JUST IN: Putin on brink of major RETREAT in Kyiv

Online users ridiculed the latest Russian failures and hailed the Ukrainian defiance, with one Reddit user remarking: “At some point, I think every military intelligence outfit looking at this must be wondering how bad the rot is in the Russian military.”

One user visavillem added: “So this is the 10th time. Are Russians trying to bait Ukrainians to waste ammo with some obsolete/broken equipment, or are they really so stupid, that they keep stepping on the same rake again and again?”

Another user on Reddit adfgqert posted: “The Ukrainian people have resolve and determination that is beyond what I think is normal.

“Beyond inspirational and they bring fighting for what they believe in to a new level for me.” 

This comes amid ongoing setbacks for Russian military forces in the south of the country.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Russia had withdrawn most of its helicopters from a strategic airport in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, according to satellite images.

Kherson has also been the site of several local protests against the occupying Russian soldiers.

The official said: “We can’t corroborate exactly who is in control of Kherson but the point is, it doesn’t appear to be as solidly in Russian control as it was before.

“That would make it very, very difficult for them to make any kind of ground movement on Odesa.

“That would be a significant development, no question about that, in terms of the southern part of the war.” 


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