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Macron and Le Pen debate — Germany’s Ukraine weapons dilemma

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We review the big clash between French presidential contenders Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. And we unpack Germany’s struggle over whether to send heavy weapons to Ukraine with military expert and think tanker Gustav Gressel.

POLITICO’s Andrew Gray is joined by Clea Caulcutt in Paris to analyze Wednesday night’s live TV debate between Macron, the centrist incumbent, and far-right challenger Le Pen ahead of the final round of the French presidential election this Sunday. POLITICO’s Matthew Karnitschnig also joins the conversation to give the broader European perspective on the race.

Matt then brings us this week’s feature interview with Gustav Gressel, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. They discuss Germany’s continued reluctance to supply Ukraine with heavy weaponry and its impact on Berlin’s standing within the EU and among other Western allies.

Programming note: We’ll host a live conversation on the French election on Sunday at 10 p.m. CET on Twitter. Andrew, Matt and Clea will be joined by other members of our French team to analyze the results, hear reaction from the campaign HQs and examine what the outcome means for France and for Europe.

And we’ll also bring you a special election edition of EU Confidential, which will land early Monday morning in your podcast feed. So please do subscribe or follow, wherever you listen.

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