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Macron’s approach to security sensible, but EU not ready for consensus yet — expert

It was stressed, though, that Emmanuel Macron's statements contained no specific proposals or ideas regarding a new format of European security, including guarantees for Moscow

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron’s approach to common European security, which would imply guarantees for Russia as well, does makes sense, but the European Union is not yet ready for consensus and constructive joint efforts to devise new security mechanisms, the General Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, Andrey Kortunov, told TASS on Monday.

He drew attention to the French leader’s the statement to the effect that a future security architecture in Europe after the restoration of peace in Ukraine should include security guarantees for Russia as well. According to the analyst, this approach "agrees with common sense."

"Europe will be unable to feel secure, if security does not also encompass the largest European country - Russia. The security of Europe from Russia is in a sense a contradiction in concepts, an oxymoron. What kind of security there can be with the participation of Russia may be a subject for further discussion, but that Russia should become an element of new European security is quite obvious," Kortunov said.

He stressed, though, that Macron's statements contained no specific proposals or ideas regarding a new format of European security, including guarantees for Moscow. "Unfortunately, the French president tends to come up with abstract ideas [in the public space], but never develops them to a level of specific programs or road maps. This allows officials, including those at the French Foreign Ministry, to interpret these ideas at their own discretion. Therefore, it is still too early to say if this particular initiative Macron has proposed will develop into something more significant. The current situation as it is, considering some comprehensive European security system is at least premature," he pointed out.

Union without consent

Kortunov believes that the EU member states currently see their prime task in achieving an end to the armed confrontation in Ukraine, and therefore show no readiness to reach consensus or to work jointly for "some mechanisms that would ensure the security of all countries of the European continent."

"The European Union is big. There are different points of view - some are extremely radical, and others, a little bit more moderate. Some want to exclude Russia altogether from any future security configurations in Europe. Others believe that Russia should be somehow integrated [into a single security system], at least at the level of confidence-building measures. Perhaps, in a way that had existed during the Cold War. In other words, although Europe would remain disunited, it might be possible to have some system of interaction or of easing the risks of an unintentional escalation and of reducing the costs that usually accompany a military confrontation," Kortunov stressed. "There is a whole range of joint or parallel measures that might stabilize the situation in Europe. For now, there are too many different viewpoints in Europe. Speculating about some kind of consensus is premature."