This week the French president Emmanuel Macron travelled thousands of kilometres across Europe in a diplomatic effort to avert an escalation of the war in Ukraine. He met Presidents Putin and Zelensky in Moscow and Kyiv, as well as German and Polish leaders in Berlin. Diplomats say Mr Macron has made himself a key interlocutor between the EU and the US on one side and Russia on the other. The crisis in Ukraine has galvanised France’s alliance with the United States which was at a low point just months ago when Paris lost a lucrative Australian submarine contract to Washington and London. But at home – where the president is facing re-election, there’s scepticism over France’s close alliance with America. So what are President Macron’s foreign policy goals? As the EU’s only nuclear-armed state, what role should France play in representing Europe’s broader interests on the world stage? And will Mr Macron’s diplomatic achievements improve his chances of winning a second term in April?
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