In a position with great symbolic connotations, the Russian president sat his French guest at the head of a very long table, while he sat at the other far end, in a clip sarcastically circulated by the media, in which she spoke about the message that the Russian president wanted to deliver to Europe.
According to experts and observers, the long distance between the two presidents at the “Russian table” symbolizes the size of the gap between Russia and Europe at present, especially in the Ukraine file.
Insult at the press conference
Putin was not satisfied with sitting his guest at a far table where he could hardly hear the Russian President’s speech, but was preceded by a strange situation in the press conference that brought together the two presidents.
After the conference ended, Putin moved out of the room, letting Macron walk behind him to follow him, about 4 meters away.
It is the habit of the hosting president to walk next to the guest president, and bring him to the fore, during press conferences and meetings.
It seemed as if Putin was trying to insult the French president with this movement, and make him be his “subordinate”, which is what the experts analyzed.
An activist wrote on social media, commenting on the incident: “Not waiting for the guest and not accompanying him at the end of the conference indicates that the host is proceeding to implement his vision of the solution without waiting for the opinion of the other or even just listening to him. In general, the scenario of the meeting indicates the strength of the difference and the great gap between opinions.”
Another wrote: “The war will not happen. Putin wants to achieve non-military (media) victories and this is what he is doing now.”
Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine’s borders in recent months, raising European and global fears of an invasion.
While the Russian government denies any such plans, it insists on obtaining written guarantees regarding Russia’s security, including that Ukraine will not join the NATO.
On this position, writer and political researcher Zahi Allawi told Sky News Arabia: “The Russian president does not back down from his expansionist positions. I think that this movement was also preceded by a sarcastic look from the Russian president during the press conference, when he said that the French president bombarded him with demands and questions for 6 hours. It is an indication that Putin thinks the French president has exaggerated his demands and questions, and there is a clear message that Putin is determined to prove Russia’s final position.”
Allawi added: “Macron’s visit can be described as not what the French president wanted, and the Europeans could not impose anything on Russia. There are promises to Ukraine that Russia will pay the price, and there is no real clarity for these threats.”
He continued, “We must not forget that Germany has a different position from Europe. The German chancellor was vague by accusing Russia of its position with Ukraine. This weakens the European position that Macron brought.”