Putin to meet Hollande in France on October 19
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his French counterpart Francois Hollande during a visit to France on October 19, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.
The two leaders “will discuss international issues including Syria and Ukraine,” Lavrov told France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault at a meeting in Moscow.
Putin’s visit to France — his first to the country since he attended a climate summit in Paris late last year — has been in the planning for months, with the Kremlin strongman expected to inaugurate a Russian Orthodox cultural complex in the capital.
The trip comes amid a spike in tensions with the West over Moscow’s bombing campaign in war-torn Syria.
Ayrault jetted in to Moscow on Thursday for talks with Lavrov before heading to Washington as France tries to garner support for a UN resolution on a ceasefire in the Syrian city of Aleppo, his office said.
The US announced on Monday it had suspended talks with Moscow on a ceasefire, accusing Russia of trying to bomb civilians “into submission”.
France and Germany have also spearheaded efforts to mediate peace efforts to end the conflict in east Ukraine, which the West and Kiev accuse Moscow of fuelling.