Yesterday, French president Emmanuel Macron met with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Versailles. Unlike with American president Donald Trump, the handshake was not weird, and unlike with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it’s definitely not the beginning of a bromance.
The two presidents walked through the palace looking at an exhibit commemorating Russian czar Peter the Great, who visited France in 1717, rode together in a golf cart, and talked away from microphones and cameras for about two hours until returning for a press conference.
Macron is generally being praised for seeming strong in the face of Putin, condemning the fake news coming out of Russia, the use of chemical weapons, and the killing of gay men in Chechnya. Macron didn’t allow Russia Today and Sputnik access to En Marche! headquarters during his campaign, and he defended that decision confidently when asked about it: “When news organizations produce falsehoods, they’re no longer journalists, they’re agents of influence.”
The whole encounter was quite chilly, despite this fun ride in a golf cart. See a summary of the meeting in the BBC video above.