Short meeting: Putin and Trump talked on the sidelines of the Elysian Palace
Many were waiting for the meeting of the presidents of Russia and the United States from the Paris events on November 11, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, but Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump did not draw undue attention to themselves and their states. France, as the host country, asked not to hold any full-length meetings on this day in order not to be distracted from the main events of the forum.
Two minutes for everything
Initially, it was assumed that the heads of the two countries would be able to talk during a working breakfast, but shortly before it began, the layout of the participants at the table changed. The presidents of Russia and the United States faced each other and could only look at each other. Next to Putin were UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Of course, the Russian leader had something to talk with them about, but the content of these conversations was much less interesting than the potential conversation with his American counterpart.
As a result, Putin and Trump managed to talk just a couple of minutes on the sidelines of the Elysian Palace. According to the Russian leader, the short conversation turned out to be successful, and both sides expressed a desire to finally hold a full-format meeting in Buenos Aires at the G20 summit. The President of Russia could not fail to mention the situation with the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF). Putin stressed that Moscow favors further negotiations on this issue.
Vladimir Putin expressed his opinion on the idea of French President Emmanuel Macron to create a common European army, noting that Jacques Chirac, one of the previous French leaders, was promoting this idea. According to him, the intention of Europe to ensure its security is quite understandable.
Macron managed to gather at a solemn event more than 70 heads of state and government. It is not surprising that he was afraid of the potential diversion of attention from the audience to Putin and Trump if they met in Paris. Actually, the lenses of dozens of cameras were already chained to their persons. When the Russian leader arrived at Charles de Gaulle Square, he approached his American counterpart and greeted him rather warmly. It was very similar that Trump asked Putin something like “How are you?”, Because he showed a thumbs up, patted the US President on the shoulder and stood on his left side of Macron.
The latter’s speech at the Arc de Triomphe, in which he emphasized that the events of a century ago should not be repeated, was somehow not particularly combined with statements about the creation of pan-European armed forces. In his speech, the French president stressed that it is necessary to abandon the "ideas of domination." Did he hint at the USA? It is quite possible, all the more so because the statements of the American side about leaving the INF range caused some irritation not only in Russia, but also in Europe.
See you in Argentina
The events in Paris are over, but the understatement in relations between Moscow and Washington has not gone away. Full-fledged talks between Putin and Trump failed. The question of the INF Treaty is still hanging in the air, although the Kremlin has already stated that it does not harbor any illusions about its future. Nevertheless, the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina can still be perceived as a springboard for the normalization of relations between Russia and the United States. When the situation is tense, I want to believe in the best. After all, as Emmanuel Macron correctly said, no one wants to repeat the events of the First World War.