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Macron to host Putin at Versailles
May 29, 2017, 10:15 am

Russian media sees the Putin visit to France as a victory for the country’s foreign policy [Xinhua]

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron will host Russian President Vladimir Putin at Versailles today in what French media have said is likely to be an introductory, informal meeting giving both leaders a chance to get to know one another.

Macron is known to have been the least leaning toward Putin; his elections rival Marine Le Pen had actually called for a lifting of EU and US sanctions on Russia due to the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea.

The French invitation comes on the heels of US President Donald Trump’s diplomatic blitzkrieg to the Middle East and Europe, and just a few days after the G7 summit ended in Taormina, Sicily.

The G7 was formerly known as the G8 but Russia was kicked out due to European and US allegations of its involvement in violence in Ukraine and its purported annexation of Crimea.

Russian media is heralding Putin’s visit as a victory for the country’s foreign policy that it has not been isolated as the previous Obama administration claimed.

The trip also comes as stark differences emerge between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump.

Following her meetings with Trump at the NATO on G7 summits, Merkel said she believed that Europe cannot afford to rely on its once traditional allies the UK and US, and should carve its own destiny.

The final communique of the G7 summit acknowledged a split between the United States and its six partners over honoring the 2015 Paris accord on climate change.

In the meantime, France and Russia have directly opposing views on how to resolve the Syrian crisis; Paris wants to see Syrian President Bashar Al Assad removed from power while Moscow has done everything in its power to keep him in place until a transition process has been formalized and new elections are held.

Following their talks, the two presidents will preside over the inauguration of a royal palace exhibition commemorating the 300th anniversary of Russian Czar Peter the Great’s visit to France in 1717.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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