04.21.2014 Facebook status
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Paris has cancelled Russian Federation President Putin’s visit which was scheduled for April 23 to participate in the official ceremony commemorating the fallen soldiers of the Russian Expeditionary Force during the World War I.
Although the Elysée Palace has not made any official statement to this effect, the President of France’s [publicized] schedule for the week, on his website, makes this quite clear, the Ukrinform correspondent says.
“The order of the day for the Head of the French Republic foresees his meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, attending the meeting of the Council of Ministers and a meeting with the Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian on the first half of April 23. Francois Hollande will dedicate the second half of the day to celebrating the centenary of the death of Socialist Jean Jaurès in the city of Carmeau (South France),” according to the official document.
The preliminary program of the Head of State’s visit to Carmeau also indicates a meeting with the local community. On Thursday, April 24, Francois Holland is expecting to meet Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland, and attend a number of other business meetings and official functions.
As a reminder, last week the French Ministry of the Interior did not confirm the Russian President’s visit to France, mentioning that it was subject to the Elyssée Palace and advised to turn to them [for confirmation]. Earlier, an official ceremony of April 23 had been planned for the Presidents of France and Russia at the village of Courcy, 10 km [6 miles] from Reims where 100 years ago around 700 soldiers from the Russian Empire were killed.
The French media reported that Putin’s visit to France was putting Paris in an embarrassing position because of the unprecedented tension in Russian relations with the West arising from the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea and the events in eastern Ukraine. While the Elyssée Palace was silent, the French media noted that Francois Hollande’s only mention of any high level meetings with his Russian counterpart referred to the 70th anniversary celebration of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944.