Faced with a Russian-Ukrainian war, which is likely to "last extremely long", in Olaf Scholz's own words, Paris and Berlin do not intend to rush to deliver heavy equipment to kyiv. This common line was subtly outlined during a highly symbolic Franco-German Council of Ministers held at the Élysée on Sunday.. This meeting was canceled last fall in the midst of a quarrel between the two capitals which, within a day, made vigorous efforts to restart the bilateral engine. Occasionally, this engine “purrs softly” but always shows itself capable of transforming “controversies” into “convergences”, rejoiced Olaf Scholz.
Emmanuel Macron, unlike the chancellor, nevertheless took a first step by indicating that the supply of Leclerc tanks was "not excluded" and would be carried out if necessary in a "collective" framework. “The work will take place in the days and weeks to come.. The way we have acted in the past is always closely coordinated with our friends and allies and we will continue to act according to the concrete situation., added the head of the Élysée.
Criticized by many of his allies, especially oriental, Olaf Scholz left his foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, announce on the LCI channel that Berlin would not oppose Poland if Warsaw decided to re-export the German Leopard tanks in its possession to Ukraine. For his part, the Chancellor remained silent. “We consult each other”, simply repeated the head of the German government while recalling that his country had already “done a lot” for Ukraine.
According to a tendency fairly well anchored in the behavior of the Chancellor, the latter preferred to let his “dear Emmanuel” speak for him. Distribution of Leclerc tanks to Ukraine, which could pave the way for that of the German Leopards, explained the French president, will have to respect three criteria that Berlin would not deny : do not contribute to escalation, train the Ukrainian military, not to strip the French army for the benefit of Ukraine. “ The support given to Ukraine must be real and effective ”, said Emmanuel Macron.
The two men were not stingy with words to describe a Franco-German couple attached to the "refoundation" of Europe, similar to two "souls beating in one chest". The only major concrete announcement, Germany joining the Franco-Portuguese-Spanish pipeline project carrying green hydrogen (H2Med). While affirming its attachment to the project of construction of a European tank today becalmed, Olaf Scholz was very evasive on European defense, assuming its choice to develop, without France, a missile shield with Israel and the United States.
It is morning, in the amphitheater of the Sorbonne hosting the ceremony of the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty, that the Chancellor gave an inspired and emotional speech, very different from his daily political speech, which earned him the nickname "Scholzomat". The Chancellor hailed "the greatness of the people (French) who reached out to us in reconciliation after the Second World War” as well as “those who stretched out their hands over the graves”. "Thank you from the heart", and “long live the fraternal friendship between our two peoples”, did he say in french, unlike Emmanuel Macron who did not use a single German word.
The unloved and traditionally austere Chancellor has thus multiplied gestures of sympathy towards Paris, paying homage to the French Enlightenment which, three centuries earlier, in Germany, had finally come up against a roadblock in France. “Democratic parliamentarism was established there too late”, and Olaf Scholz regretted, although with more vigor in the end, as evidenced by the current weight of the Bundestag. Finally, President of the German Parliament, Bärbel Bass, as well as the Chancellor welcomed the "passionate" European discourse held in 2017 in this same amphitheater of the Sorbonne by Emmanuel Macron, and that Angela Merkel had on the contrary ignored in her time. So many errors and omissions that Berlin worked on Sunday to repair.