Presidet Macron to host Putin ahead of G7 Summit

French President Emmanuel Macron [Reuters images]
French President Emmanuel Macron will host his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on August 19, just a few days before hosting the Group of Seven (G7) Summit.

Macro confirmed on Saturday that he had invited the Russian leader for the discussions which would be held at the medieval fort of Bregancon near the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas on France’s Mediterranean coast.

The French president said the fort was chosen to host the talks because it offers the possibility “to work in isolation… and receive foreign leaders, which I will do with Vladimir Putin in a few weeks’ time”.

Leaders of the G7 nations are expected in France for the 2019 summit which will be held between 24-26 August.

France currently holds the presidency of the group which also includes the UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and the United States.

The group was initially named the Group of 8 (G8), but changed to G7 after Russia was suspended indefinitely in March 2014 following the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

President Macron met with Putin in June, thereafter announced another possible meeting to explore ways of cooperation between Kremlin and the G7.

“I believe that within the framework of the G7, it’s essential that we take this initiative (with Russia)… in order to explore all the forms of cooperation on key topics of destabilisation or conflict, without naivety but without closing the door,” Macron had said at the time.