A two-day visit to Kazakhstan and unplanned meeting with Putin at “Vnukovo-2” attempts to break France away from opponents of Russia or at least make it neutral.
Mission maximum – to lure Paris into Moscow’s allies. This age-old line of Russian diplomacy, however, often stumbled on Anglo-Saxon rake. Even today Hollande is under a curse of the Mistress of the Seas and overseas friend. Hence such weakness on Mistral issue, reaching a complete loss of sovereignty, but which did not prevent Putin and Hollande from talking about a whole range of acute problems of the world during the flight of the President of France from Astana to Paris with a stopover in Moscow.
A flight over Russia without landing in the capital would be disrespectful towards Putin on the part of Holland, not to mention the fact that it is not the Russian side that owes the French a couple of boats, but quite the contrary.
However, at the government airport “Vnukovo-2”, where the meeting of both leaders took place (at the request of the French side), in addition to the situation in Ukraine, the situation in Syria was discussed along with the Iranian nuclear program, bilateral Russian-French relations, but not … Mistral.
Moreover, the conversation went in a constructive manner, according to Vladimir Putin. And there is no reason not to believe the Russian leader, because he walked Hollande to his airplane in a quite upbeat mood. Would he do that if partner Francois was not forthcoming? Or maybe – friend Francois?
This will become clear after the decision on Mistral issue is made. Although these ships are not that essential for the Armed Forces of Russia, as they say now. The contract was made under the former leadership – the notorious Serdyukov. But, nevertheless, the money for the ships has been paid, the job is finished, but the order has not been delivered to the owners. Nonsense? Of course.
“We didn’t talk about Mistral, didn’t even mention it. There is a contract, it is a legal document, we believe that it will be followed through. I did not ask any questions of the President (Hollande), didn’t say anything,” – answered the journalists Vladimir Putin after the meeting with his French counterpart.
But if Paris fails to deliever, then Moscow… “will not hold a grudge”, said Putin, adding, however, that the money paid under this contract should be returned.
“We will approach any outcome of this issue with understanding” – added Putin warmly.
Soon the first steps of President Hollande after his meeting with the leader of Kazakhstan Nazarbayev and the Russian President will show whether comrade Francois learned anything or will remain a toothless friend.
|Not every guest gets escorted to his airplane by Putin (Photo: EPA/LETA)
“I don’t want to be anyone’s lawyer, including Putin, but my objective analysis suggests that the desire to organize after Ukraine the same “spring” in Russia has failed, and ended in a Crimean “spring”. And don’t underestimate the power of Russia. This is the biggest and the richest country in the world,” – said the wise and politically independent President of Kazakhstan to Hollande in Astana.
And Nursultan Nazarbayev, heading such a large, complex and rich country as Kazakhstan, since as early as 1991, knows what he is talking about.
Translated by Kristina Rus