Ukraine high on agenda as Macron meets Putin

epa07200516 French President Emmanuel Macron (front R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (front L) meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 30 November 2018. The G20 Summit (or G-20 or Group of Twenty) takes place from 30 November to 01 December 2018 and brings together the heads of State or Government of the 20 largest economies. EPA-EFE/MICHAEL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT

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French President Emmanuel Macron will host his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a rare meeting on Monday before the start of the G7 summit in Biarritz.

Macron is hoping to convince Russia to help end the conflict in east Ukraine. The French president believes the arrival of Volodymyr Zelensky as Ukrainian president could be the start of a new era between the two countries.

Iran will also feature high on the agenda, with Paris keen for Moscow to use its close ties with Tehran to prevent a further escalation of conflicts in the Middle East.

Macron is expected to press Putin to use his influence on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to stop an offensive in the northern region of Idlib and ward off new refugee flows towards Turkey.

Macron, who hosted his Russian counterpart in grand style at the palace of Versailles in 2017, will this time meet Putin at his official holiday residence in Bregancon in southern France.

The visit comes days before world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, gather for the August 24-26 Group of Seven (G7) summit in Biarritz.

Russia was kicked out of the G8 in 2014 after it seized Crimea from Ukraine.


Via France 24/ RFE/ The Telegraph



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