Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin attended a
World War I commemorative event in Paris this past
Putin on Sunday said France had asked that he and Trump
not meet one-on-one at the event and that he had agreed to the
But later that day he said he did end up having a brief
conversation with Trump, describing the chat as a “good”
The two leaders were scheduled to sit next to each
other at a lunch, but France changed the seating plan at the
The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that French
President Emmanuel Macron personally asked that Trump and Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said France specifically asked
him not to hold one-on-one meetings with US President Donald
Trump during World War I commemorations in Paris this past
weekend — but he ended up chatting with him anyway.
Putin on Sunday afternoon said he agreed to France’s request so
as to “not violate” France’s planned events. “We will agree that
we will not violate the schedule of the host party here: At their
request, we will not organize any meetings here,” he told the
Russian state-owned RT news channel, according to the state-run
Less than an hour later, however, Putin told reporters that he
did end up having a brief conversation with Trump.
When asked by journalists whether he had a chance to talk to
Trump, Putin said “yes,” Interfax and RT reported. According to
RT, Putin added that the chat was “good.” Where and when that
talk took place is unclear.
The leaders had been in Paris over the weekend to mark 100 years
since the armistice that ended World War I. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, Canadian President Justin Trudeau, and the
European Commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, also
attended the commemoration.
It was the first time the two leaders met since their summit
in Helsinki in July, during which Trump claimed that he
didn’t “see any reason” why Russia would have interfered in the
2016 US elections. National security experts have said Trump
behaved like a “controlled spy.”
According to the
Russian newspaper Kommersant, the request that Putin and
Trump not meet one-on-one came from French President Emmanuel
The French president asked that his Russian and US counterparts
not hold negotiations in Paris that could “eclipse” the events
and meetings that Paris had organized, Kommersant said, citing a
European diplomatic source.
Paris’ eagerness that Trump and Putin not meet even resulted in a
last-minute change in the seating plan at a lunch for the leaders
at the Elysée Palace, RT reported.
A preliminary seating plan of the lunch showed Trump placed next
The Guardian reported, but photos of the lunch released by
the Russian presidency showed Putin seated between Juncker and UN
Secretary-General António Guterres.
Trump was placed next to Macron, who sat opposite Putin — making
it difficult for the US and Russian presidents to have personal
The Guardian reported.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the
leaders discussed a “variety of issues,” including the
Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty —
which Trump has threatened to withdraw from — as well as
North Korea and Syria.
Putin said he hoped to meet Trump one-on-one on the sidelines of
the G20 summit in Argentina in late November instead, RT and