France and Poland have been locked in an ideological war over their leaders
French President Emmanuel Macron dubbed Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki “an extreme-right anti-Semite who bans LGBT people.” While the EU has worked to present a united front against Moscow, Morawiecki has criticized Macron for keeping a dialogue open with Russian President Vladimr Putin amid Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, and has openly endorsed his right-wing rival, Marine Le Pen.
Macron called the Polish Prime Minister “a hammer” in a Friday interview published by Le Parisien “an extreme-right anti-Semite who bans LGBT people.” Macron was likely referring to Morawiecki’s Law and Justice Party’s open criticism of “LGBT ideology,”This has led to Poland being deposed and stripped of EU funding.
“He supports Marine Le Pen, whom he has received on several occasions,” Macron continued. “Let’s not be naive, he wants to help her before the election!”
French President Morawiecki claims to be an ally for Le Pen. The pair met many times. Le Pen, of the right-wing National Rally party, faces off against Macron in the first round of France’s presidential elections this weekend. Macron’s victory was widely considered a done deal until recently, as a shock pollShe was a mere one point ahead of President Obama in Thursday’s hypothetical matchup for the second round.
Rising fuel prices, which Macron has been criticized for by voters, have likely helped Le Pen in the polls. Russia’s stance has also put the president in a tough spot. He has tried to portray Le Pen as being in love with Putin, while on the one hand he is forced to defend the Russian leader’s frequent telephone calls.
Morawiecki, Polish President Andrzej Da were some of his harshest critics. “Mr. President Macron, how many times have you negotiated with Putin, what have you achieved?,”Morawiecki spoke earlier this week. “One should not negotiate with criminals … Nobody negotiated with Hitler.”
“Dialogue with Russia has no sense,”CNN interviewed Duda days later. “One has to present very tough conditions to Vladimir Putin. One has to say, ‘Unless you meet these conditions, we don’t have anything to talk about’.”
Macron has spoken out in defense of his talks with Putin. He stated that they could have been “no lasting peace if Russia is not engaged in a great architecture of peace on our continent.” While Macron has condemned Russia’s offensive on Ukraine, he has insisted that Western leaders must “always respect Russia as a country and Russian people.”
Speaking to Le Parisien, he called Morawiecki’s invoking of the Nazis “shameless.”
Still ongoing is the diplomatic fallout from Macron’s and Morawiecki’s battle for diplomacy. On Friday, Poland’s Foreign Minister was interviewed. summonedThe French Ambassador to Warsaw will reprimand him “statements made”From Macron to Le Parisien
While Washington and Brussels have proclaimed unity between Western allies when confronting Russia’s leaders, there have been cracks within the trans-Atlantic Alliance. Hungary for instance has indicated that it will continue buying Russian gas and will be paying for the commodity with rubles, just as Putin demanded. Additionally, Poland has accused Germany – which is highly dependent on imported Russian gas – of standing in the way of tougher sanctions on Moscow.