The humiliation or non-humiliation of Vladimir Putin's Russia confronts Emmanuel Macron and the Ukrainian government in a very bitter way, which prefers to denounce the risk of humiliation of France.
The French president has repeated on several occasions that, in his opinion, "it is necessary not to humiliate Russia, in order to build a way out, when the fighting ceases."
Without going so far as to suggest Ukrainian "territorial concessions", as eminent Western analysts and political leaders have done, Macron insists on the basic condition of the "non-humiliation" of Putin.
The French presidential insistence has ended up seriously irritating the Ukrainian government. Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba declared on Friday: “Calls, asking to avoid humiliating Russia can only humiliate France.
It is Russia that is humiliating itself. We would do much better to concentrate on the best way to put Russia in its place. That way we could achieve peace and save lives.”
After the rhetorical differences, it is about opposing if not antagonistic positions to face the evolution of the Russian occupation attempt of Ukraine.
Macron has never hidden his desire to preserve direct dialogue with Putin, against all odds, without concrete and tangible results of any kind. The French president considers, however, that the telephone dialogue allows, at least, to transmit and listen to direct messages. Even if it is a "dialogue" of the deaf, Macron considers it positive to maintain that channel of communication, waiting for possible results, one day.
In kyiv, President Volodimir Zelensky has avoided a personal confrontation with Macron. But his foreign minister seems to reflect barely contained irritation when he denounces the temptation of French "humiliation" in the face of permanent Russian military threats and blackmail.
Macron does not rule out a personal trip to kyiv "when the time comes", letting his new Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, make that symbolic trip, to clarify the French position for the Ukrainian government: solidarity, military support, "open door" to an apparently invisible 'diplomatic solution', for now.