With a new tenant set to take up residence on Downing Street, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron took stock of their relationship over the phone on Tuesday. The French President and the resigning British Prime Minister hailed their cooperation over the past few years and stressed the importance of “supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary”.
“They thanked each other for their friendship and camaraderie” and felt that bilateral cooperation “had made a difference on many international issues,” said a Downing Street spokesman.
The difficulties related to Brexit
However, relations have not always been good due to Brexit-related litigation, particularly over fisheries, and the strong personalities of the two leaders.
Emmanuel Macron, who is vacationing in Fort Brégançon in southern France, and Boris Johnson also said they were “convinced that bilateral relations will continue to strengthen in the coming years”. A summit meeting is also planned between the two countries in the coming months, but Boris Johnson will then no longer be in office. The British Prime Minister resigned in early July after months of scandals. Conservative Party members are currently voting on the appointment of his successor, who will be announced on September 5. Secretary of State Liz Truss is the favorite against the former Treasury Secretary.
Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson also reiterated “their determination to support Ukraine for as long as necessary and to maintain a high level of coordination between partners to meet the needs of Ukrainians in military, humanitarian and economic matters,” for their part, underlined the French Presidency.
Johnson’s “leadership” in Ukraine
Referring to the grain blockade due to the conflict in Ukraine, “they reiterated their support for European efforts to allow export volumes by road and river,” she added. Emmanuel Macron “also praised the (British) Prime Minister’s leadership in Ukraine,” underlined London. Indeed, Boris Johnson has been at the forefront of Western support for Ukraine. He was one of the first to go to Kyiv after the Russian offensive began on February 24. After an initial visit on April 9, he returned there on June 17, a day after a joint visit by Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italy’s now-resigned Prime Minister Mario Draghi.