Emanuel Macron is sounding every bit like the world leader many observers contend he has become. I heard a demonstration of his forthrightness and strength the other day in a “60 Minutes” interview.
The French president said in response to a direct question about whether Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal.” Without flinching, blinking or pausing, Macron said “yes, he is a war criminal.” Putin’s crime, according to Macron? Putin is ordering the bombing of civilian targets in Ukraine.
There. Done deal. Putin, who launched the illegal invasion of Ukraine in February, has demonstrated beyond a doubt that he needs to go on trial for war crimes, said Macron.
Indeed, the French president is emerging as Europe’s most formidable leader. He took over that role when German Chancellor Angela Merkel vacated her office this year.
It’s no small feat that the European Union has held together stronger than ever in opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Or that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization stands as one against any threats that Russia might pose to any of its members.
I credit two people for that solidarity. One is President Joe Biden, who has summoned NATO to be firm against the Russians. Another is Emanuel Macron, who speaks with strength and resolve in condemning the Russian tyrant.
We need a strong Europe to stand against the Russian aggressors. Europe needs a strong United States to lend its own resolve to this fight.