War in Ukraine: Macron special guest of France 2 Wednesday evening
An hour’s interview on France 2, 100% focused on internationals: Emmanuel Macron faces an unprecedented drill on Wednesday night, dictated by the runaway war in Ukraine and its severe repercussions on Europe and the French.
The Head of State will inaugurate France 2’s new political program “L’Evénement” at 8.30pm amid rising energy prices, while Vladimir Putin has partially shut off gas taps to Europe over the winter.
“War in Ukraine, energy crisis, return of the nuclear threat”: Emmanuel Macron will be asked about “the new dangers and their already visible consequences in the lives of the French,” promises journalist Caroline Roux, who will moderate the show.
The stakes are all the higher as the war enters a new phase, with massive Russian bombings Monday and Tuesday across Ukrainian territory and direct threats from the Kremlin against Europeans supporting Kyiv.
International topics, which are often pushed to the end of the program, are therefore shown in this new format for once.
“He really wants peace in national affairs (…) He’s still there to talk about Ukraine, Armenia, Russia, Italy, Britain,” one government official said.
Another novelty: the President will return two weeks later, on October 26, for a second part of the program, this time dedicated to domestic issues.
However, it is not excluded that the French news will catch up with it on Wednesday evening, starting with fuel shortages in a third of service stations due to a strike movement at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil.
“This is untenable,” judged one Ministerialrat; “He will have to start with national subjects,” anticipates another.
His last television interview, already under the sign of the risks of shortages and energy “sobriety”, dates from July 14th.
– “Warchief” –
Through this double interview, Emmanuel Macron is determined to occupy the field in a tumultuous political context, with the loss of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, thunderous oppositions and a potentially tumultuous social autumn.
Since the beginning of the school year, he’s also been trying to set the pace by increasing his trips across France for health, wind turbines, job training.
But for political communications specialist Philippe Moreau Chevrolet, it is “symptomatic that he has started (this time) with the +’reserved area+’ of foreign policy, which of course puts him above the fight”.
A field in which he likes to pose as a “peacemaker,” he recalls, from his attempts at mediation between Moscow and Kyiv to prevent war in Ukraine, to the most recent between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“He’s never as popular when we exclude the Yellow Vests as in moments of crisis when he can play the warlord,” notes Benjamin Morel, lecturer in public law at the University of Paris 2.
But even the exercise that was successful in the case of the Covid crisis is not without risk. “When you’re on the front lines and don’t have much to give other than the verb, that’s dangerous,” warns the academic.
On Wednesday, the head of state will focus on how to stem the rise in energy prices, while the European Union is working on several options ahead of the October 20-21 summit.
And to restore the framework of the policy of military support to Kiev, while Vladimir Putin is openly inciting the nuclear threat against anyone who will thwart his plans in Ukraine.
Emmanuel Macron has promised to increase that aid, notably by sending six additional, very powerful, long-range Caesar guns to Kyiv.
France will also increase its military presence on NATO’s eastern flank, deploying armored infantry vehicles (VBCI) and Leclerc tanks in Romania, and reinforcements in Estonia.
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