Former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner described Mr Macron’s response to the Ukraine war as “stunningly bad”. He accused the French leader of being “a groveller to the Kremlin”. This comes as Mr Macron has faced controversy for continuing to meet with the Russian leader.
Since December 2021, Mr Macron has had 17 meetings with Putin, nine of which have taken place since the Russian President invaded Ukraine on February 24 2020.
Mr Gardiner claimed that Macron “fancies himself as some sort of grand-peacemaker”, but said that Poland and Ukraine instead see him as a “back-stabber”.
He also condemned Germany’s response to Russia, calling it “weak”.
Germany has been resistant to imposing a ban on imports of Russian energy, for fear of triggering an EU recession.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Gardiner said: “With regards to Macron – if there was a contest for the most pathetic European leader in the Ukraine crisis, Macron would be a frontrunner for that.
“Macron’s response to the Ukraine crisis has been condemned by the Poles and the Ukrainians.
“They don’t trust [him] at all. Macron is just seen as a back-stabber.
“And there does seem to be a real contest between Germany and France as to who can be the weakest with the Russia threat.
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“And Macron is viewed in Eastern Europe actually as just a groveller to the Kremlin.”
Last month, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused the French leader of “negotiating with Hitler”.
He said: “What have you achieved? Have you stopped any of the actions that have taken place?
“Criminals are not negotiated with, criminals must be fought. Nobody negotiated with Hitler.
“You would negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot afterwards?”
Mr Morawiecki added: “Enough of this game of the delay of some European leaders, manoeuvring, spinning.
“Strong sanctions are needed, those that will break Putin’s war machine, otherwise more innocent people will die.”
In response, Mr Macron’s office said it is important for Putin to understand the demands of Western countries and the cost for Russia of disregarding them.
A French presidential official said: “From the onset, the president has used all available means to make Putin stop the war: massive sanctions, support to Ukraine, demands made directly to President Putin during their calls.”