At the Bregançon fortress, the summer residence of the French presidency, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Macron had a bilateral meeting just days before the G7 summit in Biarritz, where Russia has been excluded since its annexation. of Crimea.
As the sun went down, in front of a few in attendance but overwhelming media interest, Macron insisted on the importance of not only France’s relationship with the Russian Federation but the entire European Union.
“Because Russia is European, it has its place in the Europe of values. But it must demonstrate to us that it is for freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom to protest, as in other EU countries. I believe in European Russia “– said Macron.
For more than a month in Moscow, there have been protests against the exclusion of many political opponents from the September 8 municipal elections.
Concerning government violence against protesters and the arrests of thousands of oppositionists, Vladimir Putin said, “We do not want yellow vests in Russia.”
“We will certainly talk about Ukraine” – Putin said – “I will report to President Macron about my recent contacts with the newly elected President of Ukraine. There are things to talk about and I am optimistic on average.” from my point of view there is no alternative to the Normandy quartet, “referring precisely to Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany sitting together to find a deal and which Macron has called for another summit on the subject of Ukraine.
During the closed-door meeting, the two presidents also discussed Syria. Macron called for an immediate ceasefire while Putin is backing Assad’s attacks on Idlib.