“Our collective security imposes that, given geography, we need to discuss with Russians,” he insisted. During a three-day visit to Lithuania and Latvia, Macron sought to reassure that his goal was to build up Europe’s defense capabilities as a complement to NATO — not to replace it.
Macron’s efforts towards Russia have prompted concerns from Baltic states, whose relations with Russia have remained icy for nearly 30 years since their independence in the wake of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Estonia and Latvia both have sizable ethnic-Russian minorities, while Lithuania’s ethnic-Russian population is more minor.
Macron reiterated that Russia should provide clarifications on the poisoning of Navalny or the country would face international consequences — but he did not elaborate on what those would be. Macron, who once lamented the “brain death” at the NATO due to a lack of American leadership, last year launched efforts to try to thaw France’s relations with Russia, which were damaged by Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.