Internet InfoMedia macron and scholz spar over policy on ukraine and russia
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A fraught relationship has recently turned bitter, with insults and barbs threatening European unity at a critical moment.

It was a private dinner in a Parisian garden on the Boulevard St. Germain, meant to cement the important personal relationship between the leaders of France and Germany.

After the meal on July 4, 2022, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said “Merci beaucoup” in a Twitter post praising “close exchanges.” But on the way out, President Emmanuel Macron muttered to a confidant: “This is not going to be easy.”

It is hardly a secret that the dealings between the two men have been anything but easy. Barely disguised insults between them in recent days have pointed to deeper differences over Ukraine, how to confront and contain an aggressive Russia and how to manage an increasingly polarized United States.

This week, while visiting Prague, Mr. Macron repeated his refusal to rule out Western troops in Ukraine, a suggestion that surprised his allies who want to avoid a direct confrontation with Russia. Germany, especially, pushed back. Mr. Macron replied in kind.

“Europe clearly faces a moment when it will be necessary not to be cowards,” Mr. Macron said, a jab Berlin took as an insult to its postwar history after the Nazi trauma.

The German defense minister, Boris Pistorius, responded: “We don’t need, really, from my perspective at least, discussions about boots on the ground or having more courage or less courage.”

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