This is not Vladimir Putin’s first attempt. Already in 2008, it was Georgia that Russia attacked. The invasion had stopped at the gates of Tbilisi, the capital, saved by diplomacy. A former French diplomat who became President of Georgia, Salomé Zurabishvili sees history repeating itself in Ukraine. To counter Putin’s desire for expansion, she is now calling for her country, but also Moldova and Ukraine, to join the European adventure.
L’Express: Can Vladimir Putin still come out of this conflict “from the top”?
Salomé Zourabichvili: There will inevitably be a diplomatic outcome, but it is no longer possible to appease Putin. He does not seek dialogue, he only raises his voice with, in recent days, blackmail for nuclear deterrence. He is in the psychological threat and he is also more known for that than for being a great warlord. He miscalculated his military operation. He thought he was demoralizing Ukraine, but he underestimated Europe, the Ukrainians and their capacity to resist, as well as the reaction of the Russian population.