At the tail end of an unprecedented diplomatic marathon, which included the NATO summit in Brussels and the G7 meeting in Italy, President Emmanuel Macron met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Versailles yesterday.
Following an invitation sent at the beginning of this month by Macron, Putin met with the new president on the 300th anniversary of Tsar Peter the Great’s visit to France. The meeting illustrated the need of both countries to renew their dialogue, which had grown tense under François Hollande.
Paris-Moscow relations hit a particularly rocky patch in October, when Putin pulled out of a visit in which he was meant to attend the opening ceremony of a new, golden-dome-topped Orthodox church. His decision followed strong criticism by France of Russia’s activity in Syria.
Relations had continued nonetheless in the ‘Normandy format’, albeit by telephone.