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Putin having tete-a-tete meeting with Macron ahead of Normandy Quartet summit

Before the talks with the French leader, the Russian president had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel while Macron spoke with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky

PARIS, December 9. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has just arrived in Paris to take part in a Normandy Quartet (Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine) summit on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, is currently holding a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The meeting is being held at the Elysee Palace behind closed door. It is expected that the two presidents will later be joined by member of the delegations.

Before the talks with Macron, Put had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron spoke with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Among the topics of Putin’s talks with Macron is expected to be the issue of non-deployment of shorter-and intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Macron earlier responded to Putin’s message calling for a corresponding moratorium and expressed readiness for dialogue on that matter.

Putin’s previous talks with Macron took place in Fort de Bregancon in southern France during Putin’s visit to that country in August. After that, the two presidents had four telephone conversations. Throughout the outgoing year, Putin and Macron also met on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty summit in Osaka in June and spoke after the funeral of France’s former President Jacques Chirac in Paris in late September.

As of late September 2019, Russian-French trade decreased by 19.3% on January-September 2018, as follows from the Kremlin press service release. Russia’s exports to France went down by 14.3% and imports from France decreased by 22.8% In 2018, bilateral trade grew by 11.2% on 2017 and reached 17.2 billion US dollars.