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Kremlin confirms Putin decided to cancel his visit to Paris

October 11, 13:43 UTC+3
French President Hollande said he was ready to meet Vladimir Putin "at any time"
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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a decision to cancel his visit to Paris scheduled for October 19 to wait for a date that would suit his French counterpart Francois Hollande, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The president has made a decision to cancel this visit (to Paris)," Peskov said, explaining: "The case is that certain events linked to the opening of a Russian cultural center and holding exhibitions had been scheduled. Unfortunately, these events fell out of the program and that’s why the president decided that now the visit to the French Republic will be cancelled."

"From the very beginning of contacts with his French counterpart, President Putin noted that we would be ready to visit Paris at the time when this is suitable for Hollande. That’s why we wait till this suitable time comes, and the president (of Russia) will again consider the possibility of paying such a visit in case this issue is still on the agenda," the Kremlin spokesman stressed.

When asked to comment on why the opening of the cultural center and exhibitions "fell out" of the program in Paris, Peskov said it is up to the French side to answer the question.

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande expressed doubt whether these talks were needed amid the differences with Russia over Syria. Later France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Hollande would make a final decision on his personal meeting with Putin "taking into consideration the situation in Syria."

The Elysee Palace told TASS on Tuesday that Hollande’s working schedule for the next week was not ready yet. The press service of the French president refused to confirm or deny reports on plans for talks with Putin or their possible cancellation. 

The Kremlin has also announced that Putin is planning no separate meeting on Syria with the European leaders: 

"No, such a separate meeting is not planned," Peskov said when asked if Putin could hold talks with European leaders on the Syrian conflict resolution in a format similar to the Normandy Quartet on the Ukrainian settlement.

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