Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin meets newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron. There is perhaps no greater contrast between well known world leaders. The meeting will almost certainly be less remembered for its substance than for the governing differences between one leader and one boyish man born to follow.
Vladimir Putin is in many ways the penultimate intelligent, informed pragmatist. His years in Soviet intelligence gave him an understanding of how the world works both in terms of public perception and in respect of the private and covert phenomena that in many cases shape if not dictate major events.
Putin’s time in power has seen Russia rise from the hellish ashes of the 1990s to reclaim its position as an undisputed superpower along with China and the United States. His greatest international accomplishments are overseeing the peaceful reunification of Russia’s historic Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol with the rest of the Russian Federation. His other great feat in international affairs remains his ongoing commitment to helping Russia’s Syrian partners fight violent Wahhabist/Salafist terrorism in the Middle East.
In terms of diplomacy, Putin has cultivated new alliances and re-cast old ones. After decades of disquiet between Beijing and Moscow after the death of Stalin, Putin has consecrated a new Russia-China alliance that is among the most important in the world, if not the most important. Russia’s active participation in China’s One Belt–One Road trade and infrastructure project holds the potential to reshape the very nature of modern world trade.
Under Putin Russia has developed historically good relations with Iran which is fast becoming a deeply important regional partner for peace and prosperity. Putin has also turned Turkey, an historic enemy of Russia, into a country that Russia can speak with and even work with in spite of often difficult policy differences.
Russia under Putin has maintained good relations with Syria, developed renewed relations with Iraq and Egypt and continues its warm relationship with India while also engaging with traditional US ally Pakistan. Russia is also positively engaging with Afghanistan.
As part of the BRICS pact, Russia is cultivating new relations with Africa and South America while maintain historic relations to important countries in each continent.
Domestically, Putin’s greatest achievement is beyond a shadow of a doubt bringing normalcy to the broken Russian economy of the 1990s. Since Putin’s first term, Russia has gone from an economic basket case to a country whose stability has weathered many of the worst global financial storms of the 1990s with success.
Living standards for most Russians are at an historic high and social stability has reached levels which have broadly eclipsed that of the fondly remembered Brezhnev era.
As an individual Putin has shown courage against great obstacles, calm in the face of hysterical and lunatic individuals both at home and abroad and pragmatism in the face of extremism. His moderate touch combined with his unapologetic love of country as reflected both in his individual stamina and his execution of important policy making is one of the reasons why the vast majority of Russians want Putin to run for another Presidential term in the 2018 Presidential election in Russia.
By contrast, Emmanuel Macron is a man who has lived his life avoiding responsible, tough decision making and shows all of the intelligence of a flunky schoolboy which is not surprising as it is a schoolboy lifestyle he leads.
The vast majority of young men want nothing more than to have their way with an eager older woman, but Macron whose current wife is 64 (Macron is 39) appears to be in a state of arrested development. At the age of 39, normal men have moved on from their schoolboy dreams. Perhaps, the entire marriage is just a charade designed to distract the public from Macron’s much rumoured homosexual adventurism?
Macron’s public life is equally decadent. He is a total opportunist who is concerned only for his personal enrichment. Love of country, of higher ideals, of God, of his fellow man, of tradition, simply doesn’t appear to factor into any of his thought processes.
He went from Rothschild banking to high politics where he abandoned his former Socialist party to start a new party based not on a new way of doing business but based on the mercenary fact that he stood a better chance of being elected than standing by the old French Socialist brand he played some part in helping to tarnish.
Now he claims to have the ability to earn the respect of others when he has shown no respect to his own supposed causes? It is simply farcical to believe that anyone could respect such a ‘man’.
This is of course the same individual who said that he could win Donald Trump’s respect by giving the American President what can only be described as a homoerotic handshake.
Macron is a disgrace to all those associated with him and he is a disgrace to France. Vladimir Putin by contrast is not only the pride of Russia, but has given Russians back their national pride, dignity and contentment that years of poor leadership tried to take from them.
Putin will be remembered as a great world-historical figure long after Macron is forgotten.