So, it turns out that when he first sat down with Vladimir Putin at that famous long table in Moscow, France’s Emmanuel Macron thought the Russian leader was, at heart, a good European whose motivations could best be measured against the writings of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.

This, at any rate, is the story doing the rounds in Paris, and it may not be that far from the truth.

Boris Johnson, by contrast, would have seen Putin through the prism of his classical education and looked more to Cicero’s warnings concerning the death of the Republic and the emergence of dictatorship.

Given the events of the last seven days, most independent observers would say that Johnson got it right while Macron got lost in a romantic haze.