Russian President Vladimir Putin briefly meets with his American counterpart, Donald Trump, in the French capital as tensions pile up between Moscow and Washington over a range of issues, especially the United States’ recent plan to walk away from a key Cold War-era arms control treaty.
The meeting took place at the Elysée Palace in Paris on Sunday on the sidelines of the ceremonies commemorating the end of World War I attended by around 70 world leaders.
Putin later said he had a good conversation with Trump, without providing more details.
The Kremlin later said the two leaders had exchanged pleasantries during the working lunch, and that no specific issue had been discussed.
White House Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, however, said President Trump, in his talks with world leaders, had “discussed a variety of issues, including the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), Syria, trade, the situation in Saudi Arabia, sanctions, Afghanistan, China, and North Korea.”
She said Trump had sat with President Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at lunch, and the group had held “very good and productive discussions.”
Earlier in the day, Putin told French RT that he had “agreed not to violate the host’s work schedule. We will not organize any meetings here at their request.”
The Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said the prospect of a full meeting between Trump and Putin had prompted huge international media interest, leading to concerns from the French organizers that this could overshadow the Paris event.
Trump sparked worries globally last month when he announced he would be pulling the US out of the INF – which had been signed towards the end of Cold War in 1987 — and vowed to rebuild the country’s nuclear arsenal.
Russian warns that it will raise the issue of US withdrawal from a landmark nuclear arms control pact in the UNSC, if the US quits.