Expert Analyzes Prior to Putin & Macron Meeting

May 29 saw the first meeting between the presidents of Russia and France, with negotiations held in the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, spoke in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche about how France relates to Russia and President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump.

"I treat Russia with respect, and I’m inviting Vladimir Putin to France in the framework of the tercentenary of diplomatic relations," said Macron, who is "demanding a dialogue" with his Russian counterpart which will address all relevant topics.

The French President also spoke about the hard handshake that was exchanged with US President Donald Trump at the summit "the Big Seven" in Italy. According to Macron, "this was no accident; it was a moment of truth." He stressed that a firm handshake shows that both leaders "do not intend to give even on symbolic, small concessions".

"In the course of bilateral negotiations, I do not concede positions,” Macron affirmed.

Expert of the International Institute of Humanitarian-Political Studies, political analyst Vladimir Bruter, speaking on radio Sputnik, drew attention to the words of the French leader when "demanding a dialogue."

"I think that their tone is, primarily, about what he wants, not about what will happen in reality. Macron maintains a firm position without having a position. This is an attempt to show himself as a strong leader. Overall, I think the parties will pay most attention to the range of Russian-Western relations," he said.

The fact that the leaders met in the Grand Trianon Palace in Versailles is largely symbolic, the analyst said.

"Next year is the centenary of the First World War, which was concluded in Versailles. The whole system of agreements defined the situation in Europe for the next twenty years. It seems to me that this may be symptomatic. I think that in Europe it is time to change a lot. Primarily, Western Europe should understand that without Russia, without sustained and serious relations with Russia, there can be no security in Europe. In addition, you will have to understand that the Ukrainian problem should be solved somehow, because the problem will always be there spoiling these relations. And finally, we need to understand that any attempt to contain Russia on the part of Western Europeans is counterproductive; it leads to the fact that Russia is removed from Europe. And it makes Europe weaker," the analyst concluded.

Dimitri Dolaberidze

29 May 2017 19:32