Elysee, disorganized conversation between Trump and Putin

Elysee, disorganized conversation between Trump and Putin

For weeks, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were blowing hot and cold on a possible meeting in Paris . The two men, who have engaged their country on the road to confrontation, have ended up talking to each other “at odds”, but not face to face.

Meetings between US and Russian leaders are rare, in a context of great tension, around the US investigation into accusations of interference by Moscow in the 2016 presidential election, the economic sanctions imposed on Russia and differences persistent conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Around a menu based on lobster, poultry and potatoes, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discussed at length at the Elysee international topics, along with their host, the French head of state Emmanuel Macron and the secretary general of the UN, Antonio Guterres.

A “casual” conversation, according to the French presidency, at the lunch on the sidelines of the commemorations of the end of the First World War.

Vladimir Putin has even described as “good” the quality of the discussion with his American counterpart, according to the Russian press agency Ria Novosti .

For her part, Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters that the leaders “had very productive discussions during the two-hour lunch”.

The two men discussed, in English – with Putin being helped by his interpreter – international news, including the situation in the Middle East (Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia) – as well as North Korea, according to the report. French presidency, which said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had also participated in the exchange at certain times.

Such an interview, even if it had nothing to do with a bilateral meeting, was not obvious.

“We have nothing planned,” said Donald Trump on Wednesday, questioned about a possible meeting with Vladimir Putin.

He contradicted a previous statement by the Kremlin diplomatic adviser, who had referred to an “informal contact”. “It was agreed that the Russian and American leaders will meet briefly in Paris,” said Yuri Ushakov.

Smile and thumbs up

According to the Russian president, the French authorities had asked that the program of the commemoration should not be parasitized by a possible bilateral meeting that would not have missed much ink.

“We agreed not to disturb the work program of our guests here. There will be no meeting organized here, at their request, but it may be held on the sidelines of the G20 summit or later, “said Vladimir Putin, shortly before lunch.

Sunday morning, MM. Trump and Putin had arrived separately from the other leaders at the ceremony marking the Centenary of the Great War at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, according to television images.

When he arrived last, the Russian president spontaneously turned to his American counterpart to shake his hand, before giving him the thumbs-up sign, all smiles.

After lunch, Vladimir Putin participated in the Paris Peace Forum, unlike Donald Trump, who visited the American cemetery in Suresnes, near Paris, to pay tribute to the “brave Americans” who died during the First World War. .

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the two men agreed to meet for a more detailed discussion on the sidelines of the G20 summit scheduled for late November in Argentina.

The US president’s efforts to resume relations with Russia have stumbled on the resistance of his own side, against a backdrop of a federal inquiry in the United States over the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and on suspicions of collusion between the two countries. campaign team of the real estate mogul and the Kremlin.

Trump and Putin met for their first bilateral summit in Helsinki in July, after which the US president was criticized in his country for being too conciliatory.

His first meeting with Vladimir Putin took place in July 2017 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.