Meet Macron’s Mr. NATO,

[…] On Tuesday, NATO announced an expert panel to reflect on its future — at least partly in response to the French president declaring last year that the alliance was experiencing brain death. And Macron’s pick was Hubert Védrine, a former foreign minister and self-declared advocate of “a more realistic policy” toward Moscow.

“We must reinvent our relations with Russia without waiting for Trump, who, if he is re-elected, will relaunch a dynamic between the United States and Russia without taking into account the interests of Europe,” Védrine said in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro in August. ”The relationship we need must be realistic and prudent, but neighborly,” he said in another interview.

Such talk alarms Central and Eastern European governments, who regard Macron’s efforts to reach out to Vladimir Putin as both naïve and dangerous. For his part, Macron regularly insists he is under no illusions about Russia and is engaged in a clear-eyed, long-term project to advance Europe’s interests. […]

But Védrine, who is known to be close to Macron, is also one of the main French theorists of so-called ”Western sin” toward Russia in the post-Soviet era.

“The West was possessed by such arrogance in the last 30 years, by such hubris in the imposition of its values on the rest of the world,” Védrine told Le Figaro. “During [Putin’s] first two terms, he extended his hand to Westerners, who were wrong not to have really responded.” Läs artikel