Vladimir Putin has returned to where it began after the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Western press calls him shake hands again, and already prepared the contacts with European leaders break: on Tuesday, the Kremlin confirmed that the visit to Paris, 19 Oct cancelled. The cause of a new conflict is obvious: the West insists that helping the Assad regime to take Aleppo, Putin turns a blind eye to the mass destruction of the civilian population and provoke an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe”.
Vladimir Putin’s visit to Paris began to prepare not yesterday and not today and maybe not in September, as reported by official sources. Invitation to the Elysee Palace was handed over to the Russian side in the spring.
Francois Hollande has repeatedly stated that it is in favour of maintaining a dialogue with the Kremlin regrets ‘ anti-Russian sanctions. “Their abolition is in our common interests,” more recently, he stressed.
On 19 October the two leaders were to attend the opening of the Russian spiritual cultural center in Paris, whose construction was supervised by the Manager of the President of the Russian Federation, and to visit the exhibition, organized by the Ministry of culture.
However, a week before the visit, the rhetoric of the Elysee Palace, hitherto bore a friendly character, has changed dramatically. The reason was the success of the Syrian army offensive in Aleppo, allowing in the foreseeable future to take control of the entire North of the country and the border with Turkey. Paris shares the common position of the West that the Russian military, helping Assad’s soldiers, do not stop at nothing – victims of the bombing are not only representatives of the so-called moderate opposition, but also civilians.
Last week France has made to the UN security Council resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Aleppo. “The country which will veto this resolution, will be discredited in the eyes of the world. She will be responsible for ongoing atrocities,” warned Hollande, perfectly aware of who it is addressed to that threat.
Before making a resolution in the security Council UNPO Hollande gave a very strong interview to the French TV channel, in particular, speculate on whether or not he even to meet with Putin, has threatened Russia with responsibility before the International criminal court for action in Syria, and even raised the issue about the possibility of war with Russia — the full interview can be read here.
Russia, despite the mood of the majority of the members of the security Council, the French have vetoed the resolution, citing its position that the cessation of the bombing will play into the hands of terrorists – they will get the opportunity for rest and can regroup our forces.
After the broadcast interview of the President aired on Sunday evening, especially knowing his partner, no different no restraint, no political intuition, the Kremlin tried to skip these words on deaf ears. “The visit to France is preparing, all in force,” Peskov assured journalists on Monday.
But saying “A”, the Elysee Palace couldn’t stop. According to sources “MK”, after the public statements of Hollande, the French side have offered the Kremlin a new format of visit: no social events, no joint visit to the cultural center – a no-nonsense program, with no discussion of the prospects of bilateral relations.
“If the President (Hollande) did decide to meet, this is not the exchange of pleasantries, said the foreign Minister of France Jean-Marc Ayrault, We do not agree with what Russia is doing in Syria. France committed more than ever to save the people of Aleppo”. Naturally, such an ultimatum for the Kremlin to ignore could not. And on the other side responded with their standard “no”.
However, a career diplomat, Dmitry Peskov, has imposed upon the refusal of a visit to Paris in the most mild form. “From the beginning President Putin has said he will be ready to visit Paris in a time when it will be comfortable for President Hollande, he said to journalists, so we wait for a comfortable time comes, and if this issue will be on the agenda again consider the possibility of applying such a visit”.
Peskov added that the Kremlin saw the publication in the French press (in particular “Figaro”), the authors insist that Putin has been angling for a visit to Paris to refute the insulation. “This is absolutely absurd. The Russian President is not experiencing any problems in this context. International timetable is tight” – said Peskov.
In confirmation of these words the press service of the Kremlin immediately after the briefing, released information about the upcoming visits of GDP: October 14, he will visit Armenia to attend a CSTO summit, 15-16 October will go to a meeting of the BRICS in Goa.
By the way, Francois Hollande, speaking to PACE, expressed their willingness to meet with Vladimir Putin assuming “honest and open dialogue”, and also about intention to participate in the meeting in “Norman format”.
But Hollande gave his version of the cancellation of Putin’s visit — it is generally in line with the data sources “MK”. According to the President of France, he refused to participate in the opening of the Russian cultural centre, but wanted to hold a “dialogue on Syria” and only on these terms to meet the President of Russia. In the end, Putin has postponed his visit to Paris…
On possible negotiations of “Norman four”, announced by Angela Merkel, the press Secretary of the President spoke very carefully. “The preliminary preparations for such a meeting is conducted. As soon as we are ready, we will make the corresponding statement”, – he said, while declining to confirm the date and time. (According to the Merkel, the meeting is scheduled for the evening of October 19 in Berlin and will be held in the format of “business dinner”).
It is noteworthy that the Sands have turned aside from the numerous clarifying questions of journalists, saying that he had nothing to add to what was said. Apparently, the Kremlin is poorly understood further scenario and rightly fear that the meeting in Ukraine can easily turn into a meeting on Syria and the “public flogging” of Russia in connection with the situation in Aleppo.
Kiev is also not completely decided on the advisability of convening the “Normandy format”. “This event is to solve only the so-called political components of Minsk is unacceptable,” – said the press service Poroshenko.
The report notes that Ukraine will support the organization of the meeting, if it be agreed the draft “road map” providing the sequence of the political and security conditions “Minsk agreements” with clear guarantees of their observance.
The project acceptable to the Kiev document has been developed by the Ukraine, France and Germany, but the Russian side does not agree to sign it, insisting on its own version.