Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Russia news: Vladimir Putin’s secret motive behind meeting with Emmanuel Macron | World | News

Emmanuel Macron has invited Russia’s Vladimir Putin to his summer residence for talks, days before hosting a G7 summit. On the meeting John Herbst, former US ambassador to Ukraine, said President Putin “likes to claim his aggressive policies have not in any way hurt Russia’s international standing”. Mr Herbst then added that Putin will “point to meetings” like the one with Macron as “proof” of his claim.

Speaking from Washington, the former ambassador told Sky News: “Putin likes to claim that his aggressive policies have not in any way hurt Russia’s international standing.

“And he’ll point to meetings like this as proof of that.”

News presenter Kimberley Leonard asked: “What about Mr Macron?

“He’s been criticised for inviting him over, from what you’re saying nothing’s actually going to come of it apart from Mr Putin thinking it’s a coup.

READ MORE: Macron’s EU fury: French leader ‘disappointed’ with Merkel

“Isn’t it just going to weaken Mr Macron at home?”

Mr Herbst replied: “In France the political situation is not necessarily opposed to Russia’s nasty activity.

“Macron in fact has been stronger on the Kremlin than his predecessor. But the French political system is not urging for tougher policy, these are the Kremlin difficult policies.”

Ms Leonard questioned: “So what do you think we see Mr Putin doing in Crimea, in Syria? Is this going to change anything at all?” Mr Herbst bluntly responded: “This visit will change nothing on those policies.”

Meanwhile, President Putin has thrown his full weight behind Brexit, calling on British politicians to honour the referendum result. During his annual press conference to the Russian nation in December of last year, Putin insisted that Britain should not hold a second referendum and that the Government must “fulfil the will of the people”.

Commenting on Theresa May’s Brexit negotiating position at the time, the Russian President said: “The referendum was held. What can she do? She has to fulfil the will of the people expressed in the referendum.”

These words will provide extra encouragement to the Prime Minister, at a time when Remainers, led by the former Chancellor Philip Hammond and Speaker of the House, John Bercow, are mounting a fierce counterattack to prevent Britain from leaving the EU without a deal on October 31.


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Putin once accused the EU of “dripping poison” on Russia’s neighbours and darkly warned that “the poisoners dripping poison into someone’s ears will sooner or later swallow it and get poisoned”. He blames this external influence as being behind the recent protests that have gripped Moscow.

For five weeks, demonstrators took to the streets in the city to protest against the regime’s decision to bar independent candidates from taking part in municipal elections to be held in September. Recently, an estimated 60,000 people attended an opposition rally in the city centre.

So far, Putin has refused to bow to the protesters’ demands. In recent years, Putin has sought to undermine the EU from within, by forging ever closer political ties with and helping to fund EU sceptical political parties, such as Marie Le Pen’s National Rally in France and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO).

Some political commentators think that the Russian President will now look to forge a closer relationship with the UK, in order to strike an ‘anti-EU alliance’.

In an interview with the Financial Times shortly before the G20 summit in June, Putin said: “I think Russia and the UK are both interested in fully restoring our relations, at least I hope a few preliminary steps will be made.”

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