Sometimes when you bet on a loser, you need to try to make the best of it.
That appears to be the case with Vladimir Putin, who placed a congratulatory telegram to Emmanuel Macron after his triumph in the French presidential election Sunday.
The news was first reported by Reuters.
Putin is widely known to have preferred Macron’s nationalist opponent, Marine Le Pen. Allies of the Russian president are widely believed to have orchestrated a coordinated hacking campaign against Macron’s emails on the eve of the final vote.
“The citizens of France have trusted you with leading the country at a difficult time for Europe and the whole world community,” Putin told Macron, Reuters reported.
In the Russian equivalent of humble pie, Putin said the two nations should work together to find common ground.
“The growth in threats of terrorism and militant extremism is accompanied by an escalation of local conflicts and the destabilization of whole regions,” said Putin. “In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure international stability and security.”
Macron’s landslide victory over Le Pen shows the limits of the populist wave that powered the British Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the United States and suggests that Putin’s longterm goal to destabilize the European Union and NATO will take more than memes.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org