French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will meet on May 29th at Versailles Palace, where an exhibition to mark Russian Tsar Peter the Great’s visit to France exactly 300 years ago is to open.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday congratulated France's newly-elected president Emmanuel Macron, whose campaign staff previously accused Russia of orchestrating a dirty tricks campaign against him, adding that it was "especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure international stability and security".
Emmanuel Macron, who was elected as France’s new president on Sunday, gave his last interview before his landslide victory to Mediapart, in which he detailed the measures and policies he would adopt over his five-year term of office. During the two-hour interview on Friday evening, he detailed his approach to a number of foreign policy issues - which were little mentioned during his campaign - including French military intervention abroad, his views on Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Greek debt crisis, and US reluctance to implement the Paris COP 21 measures to combat climate change.
The French far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, when she also spoke to Russia's lower house, the Duma, when she called for international sanctions against the country to be lifted.
A Kremlin spokesman said revelations that French conservative presidential candidate François Fillon received, via his consultency firm, 50,000 dollars to introduce a Lebanese pipeline construction tycoon to Russian President Vladimir Putin 'is what in English we call fake news'.
The end of the battle for Syria's second city and the plight of its civilians have drawn different responses from across France's political spectrum. On the Right the line taken by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon has been close to that of the far-right Front National, with his defence of the Assad regime and Vladimir Putin. The ruling Socialist Party and the Greens have emphasised their support for Syria's opposition, while the radical left presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has adopted an anti-imperialist stance, with the United States as his main target. Lénaïg Bredoux, Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau report.
by Lénaïg Bredoux, Lucie Delaporte and Christophe Gueugneau
The Russian president was due to visit the French capital on October 19th when he planned to open a Russian religious and cultural centre, but cancelled the trip amid a developing row with France which accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria.
In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, President François Hollande has carried out a 180 degree U-turn on French policy towards the Syria crisis. Previously the French stance was that neither Islamic State nor current leader Bashar al-Asad was acceptable in Syria. Now the approach is an all-out focus on destroying IS. On Thursday November 26th, Hollande will meet Assad's ally, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in Moscow to help build an alliance to destroy the organisation. But, Thomas Cantaloube argues, apart from air strikes, there seems little real strategy to restore peace to Syria and find a political solution.