Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Putin Visits France, Hopes to Mend Strained Ties with West

Putin Visits France, Hopes to Mend Strained Ties with West

VERSAILLES, France - On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be “demanding” talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other thorny issues driving the rift between Russia and the West.
The leaders’ first handshakes — relatively brief and cordial — after Putin climbed out of his limousine at Versailles were far less macho than Macron’s now famous who-will-blink-first handshake showdown with President Donald Trump when the two leaders met for the first time last week.
Monday’s visit offered Putin and Macron a chance to reset a relationship that got off on a less-than-ideal foot during Macron’s presidential campaign. Macron had strong words for Russia in his race for the presidency, saying France and Russia don’t share the same values. Putin bet — wrongly — on Macron’s far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, hosting her at the Kremlin in March, before Macron then handily beat her.
Macron is the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the Group of Seven summit over the weekend, where relations with Russia were a key topic. (AP)