Putin: France Asked Trump and Me Not to Meet in Paris

President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin were all smiles as they saw each other at World War I commemorations in Paris this weekend, but the two were unable to meet for discussions after the French requested “no meetings,” the Russian leader said Sunday. Putin told reporters he’d managed to have some interaction with Trump, but it appeared limited to a brief exchange of pleasantries. Putin was spotted grinning and giving Trump a thumbs up upon his arrival at the Arc de Triomphe, and Trump was captured in photographs beaming right back at the Russian leader even as other world leaders met Putin with grave expressions. But the two decided not to hold a meeting so as not to “disrupt the schedule” of events set by the French, Putin said. “At their request we’re not holding any meetings here,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with RT. A member of the Russian delegation had earlier claimed Trump and Putin were kept away from each other at a working lunch at the Élysée Palace after French organizers switched their seats at the last minute. Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said the Russian leader and his U.S. counterpart agreed to hold a meeting at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina to be held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, according to Interfax.