Putin hands injured Brigitte Macron flowers at talks
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Aug 22, 2019,
Aug 22, 2019, 0:54
Macron, who was meeting Putin at his summer residence in southern France five days before hosting summit of G7 rich nations, is keen to show Moscow it is not ostracized despite being kicked out of the G7 after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
However, Putin said that Moscow supports attacks by the Syrian army against "terrorists" in the northern province of Idlib.
Putin said he has some "cautious optimism" on the subject.
In his first comments on six weeks of protests in Moscow over the exclusion of some opposition candidates from an election in the Russian capital next month, Putin told reporters that protesters had to respect the law.
Macron said the comparison with France was inaccurate, since at least yellow vest protesters could stand in elections.
The yellow vest protests, named after the high-visibility motorists' jackets donned by the participants, began in November as rallies against rises in fuel taxes but developed into sometimes violent demonstrations against the government fueled by a more general discontent with the political class.
As UNIAN reported earlier, France promised to increase efforts in the "Normandy format" (Ukraine, France, Germany, Russia) aimed at reaching settlement in Donbas.
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Putin told Macron that he saw no alternative to the "Normandy" format talks but on Monday stopped short of signing up to a new summit. "Because we are a country where people can express themselves freely, protest freely, go to elections freely", Macron added.
Asked if Russian Federation would return to the G-8, Putin quipped that it could not come back to an organisation that no longer existed.
The Russian president on Monday met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the Côte d'Azur - and he didn't come empty-handed. "We don't rule anything out".
"We are grateful to France for its constructive role", Ushakov said. He recalled that the two leaders' conversation was preceded by a news conference, during which the heads of state outlined the key issues on the agenda.
French companies have also been pushing to lift European Union sanctions resulting from Russia's actions in Ukraine.
The President of the Russian Federation travelled to meet with Macron on an aircraft from the special detachment "Rossiya".