A few days before a G7 summit in Biarritz (southern France) from which Russia will be absent, the French president received his Russian counterpart at Brégançon, in the holiday residence of heads of state. Several major issues were tackled head-on.
■ Idleb: Russia " supports the Syrian army "
" It is imperative - we are very keen and we will have the opportunity to talk about it - that the cease-fire decided and acted in Sochi (Russia) is really respected, " Emmanuel Macron told Vladimir Putin.
The latter, in turn, spoke on the Syrian file: " We support the efforts of the Syrian army to eliminate terrorist threats to Idleb. "
■ Ukraine: Macron calls for a four-point summit
Emmanuel Macron wants the conditions to be met quickly to organize " in the coming weeks " a summit in Normandy format (France, Russia, Ukraine and Germany) to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine. " The positions, the choices that have been made by President (Ukrainian Volodimir) Zelenskiy are a real change. " President Putin has had several exchanges with him in recent weeks, it is for us the opportunity to revisit this situation, to be able to exchange and to be able to prepare future meetings. In close connection with President Zelenskiy and Chancellor Merkel, we will have to consider the opportunity - which is my wish - for a new summit in Normandy format in the coming weeks if we manage to configure the paths of progress. "
For his part, the Russian head of state said: " I will speak (with Emmanuel Macron) of my contacts with the new Ukrainian President. There are things that are worthy of discussion and that cause cautious optimism . "
■ Elections in Russia
Emmanuel Macron called Monday, during a visit of Vladimir Putin to France,
respect for freedom of expression and choice to run for elections in Russia where more than 2,000 protesters, calling for free elections, were
arrested in recent weeks.
What the Kremlin leader says he " does not want a situation such as the yellow vests " in Moscow.
In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Monday that he will travel to Moscow in May 2020 to attend the celebrations in Russia of the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. " I am grateful " to Emmanuel Macron for accepting this invitation, added Vladimir Putin, the Russians attaching the utmost importance to these commemorations that have been shunned by Westerners since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.