Putin set to visit France in hope of mending strained ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

 

French independent centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron gives a thumbs up as he leaves the polling station after casting his ballot in the presidential runoff election in Le Touquet, France, Sunday, May 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

MOSCOW (AP) — On a trip that will likely shape Russia-France ties for years to come, President Vladimir Putin is set to visit France for talks with newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron after expressing sympathy for his rivals during the campaign.

After Moscow lost its bets in the French vote, the visit offers the Russian leader a chance to turn the page and try to establish ties with Macron as the Kremlin has struggled to mend a bitter rift in relations with the West.

Monday’s meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven’s summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.