First let me say I was like many relieved by President Macron’s win in the last French presidential election; not that I believe he’s done particularly well on many Foreign policy issues including his dismal negotiating stance with Russia pre the Ukraine invasion, but simply because he was the best available option, particularly for Europe.
As for this concern of humiliating Russia I truly don’t understand why someone would bother about that considering the continuation of unprovoked attacks on Ukraine since 2014 using Hitlarian style tactics. Is this war not a form of humiliation to Ukraine and one with a devastating human/economic cost? Better yet isn’t this action a direct humiliation to the so-called western alliance & NATO when aggression is being provoked at the doorsteps of Europe? How about the humiliation experienced by western leaders – including yourself I might add – during their scrambled meetings with Putin to negotiate ending the conflict? Let me just add that making every effort to isolate/undermine Russia is a form of humiliation to Russia but one I believe not directed at the Russian people but towards the leadership that’s transformed Russia to a pariah state for decades particularly due to its aggressive stance towards the west. My own concern is that such statements may signal that once the Ukraine conflict ends all sanctions will be automatically rolled back and gas will again flow from east to west as if this Ukraine conflict never happened without rock solid guarantees that such aggressive actions are not repeated and compensations agreed for all the damage this unprovoked aggression has caused to Ukraine and beyond; this while ensuring some safeguards remain permanent in all cases like ending reliance on Russian natural resources, technology or preventing Russian oligarchs from controlling western economies and/or media outlets. In other words if Russia is allowed to sail through these actions scot-free of relevant/meaningful obligations the EU/US humiliation/vulnerability by/to Russia continues in a new age where war of ideologies becomes more intense and consequential to global powers. In actual fact this is absolutely NOT about “Humiliation” but rather about “Accountability” pure/simple; so this clever statement does not actually apply in any way, shape or form at least for the majority but only plays into the Russian leaderships narrative of this conflict.
So to sum up let me just reassure President Macron there shouldn’t really be anything for you to worry about on this issue of Russian humiliation and let me also suggest that he should have better/more productive things to do particularly on European security, being resource independent and more importantly having a solid well-planned strategy in this new era where conflicts based on ideology/values will likely shape the new world order; these conflicts will first need to be resolved internally within Europe and the west before they can be resolved with adversaries.
Just a thought!