The Russian delegation at the opening ceremony of the Russian spiritual cultural center in Paris, which was to engage the presidents of Russia and France Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande, will be headed by the Minister of culture Vladimir Medinsky, reports TASS. This decision was taken after the refusal of the French leader on the background of aggravation of relations with Russia over Syria from participating in the solemn events which ultimately led to the cancellation of the visit of Putin to France.
The Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov announced that the Russian spiritual cultural center in Paris, as planned, will start work on October 19. He said that the center will be on display prepared in advance of the exhibition about the construction of the center and about the history of Russian-French relations. Ushakov did not rule out holding the center of the meeting of the Congress of Russian press.
In a press-service of the Ministry of culture announced Thursday that Medina will also participate in the opening September 20 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton exhibition “Sergey Schukin. Masterpieces of the new art”, dedicated to the famous Russian philanthropist and collector.
Note that cancellation of Putin’s visit to Paris it became known on October 11. Five days before that, the Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov before talks in Moscow with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault announcedthat Putin will visit Paris on October 19. According to the newspaper Le Figaro, Lavrov was surprised by Ayrault, a moderate response which pointed to the fact that the Russian leader actually “asked for it” in Paris.
The next day, Russia put its veto on France introduced a resolution in the Security Council of the UN demand to stop bombing of Aleppo and a military aircraft fly over the city. And before that, françois Hollande warned that the blocking of a document in one of the permanent members of the security Council discreditied this country and make it responsible for the continued bloodshed in Syria.
Under the obvious influence of the incident with the veto Hollande said that haven’t decided yetwhether Putin personally during his visit. He questioned the usefulness of such meetings in the present circumstances. Press Secretary of Russian leader Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the words of Hollande, said that the preparation of Putin’s visit continues.
However, on 11 October, the Agency Reuters with reference to sources in France reported that the Russian President’s visit is cancelled. Peskov later confirmed the reports, noting that the trip was moved to find a more comfortable for Francois Hollande. He explained that Putin will not go to Paris because of the agenda had a number of events, including the opening of the Russian cultural centre and exhibitions.
Meanwhile, a source Reuters in the administration of the President of France announced that Paris was willing to accept Putin’s condition that his visit be devoted to the situation in Syria, and President Hollande will not participate in any other events. In Moscow considered that as unacceptable and decided to cancel the visit. In turn, the French diplomat explained to the Financial Times that Paris is not ready to hold the celebrations due to the wrong atmosphere, referring to another round of confrontation between Russia and the West on the background of aggravation of the situation in Syria.
The Russian side continues to emphasize that Putin’s visit to Paris is not cancelled but only postponed and will take place in the future. On the eve of the failed drive, commented on the President himself, responding to the plenary session on “Maintaining responsibility, empowering” the eighth investment forum “VTB Capital” “Russia calls!” to the question about the deterioration of Russia’s relations with the United States and Europe.
According to the Russian leader, the French, in collusion with Washington, “gave the anti-Russian hysteria in the controlled media”. The President also urged France not to take offense at the use of the veto on a resolution on Syria in the UN security Council, and stressed that “we value our relations with France and think France is one of our priority partners in Europe.”