The large-scale Paris celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice were nothing but a protocol event that did not provide a platform for dialogue between world leaders, Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs magazine and Research Director at the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club Fyodor Lukyanov told TASS on Monday.
"As it was a society event, no achievements could be expected," he said. "In my view, no one placed any hope on this meeting, except for over-enthusiastic analysts at some media outlets," Lukyankov added. "It was a completely protocol celebration aimed first and foremost at providing French President Emmanuel Macron with an opportunity to deliver a speech. He had made thorough preparations for it, even arranging the Paris Peace Forum in conjunction with the celebrations," the expert noted.
According to Lukyanov, "Macron has been carefully building an image of a world leader who is an alternative to US President Donald Trump as far as his world outlook goes - naturally, in accordance with his own views." "Whether he has been successful at it is another question, but this is what he aims at," he said.
"That’s all, there could be no other expectations from the meeting," Lukyanov went on to say. "Moreover, France asked everyone not to take any steps that could distract attention from the meeting’s host," he added.
When speaking about the role of the media, which had been raising expectations from world leaders’ meetings on the sidelines of the Paris event for no reason, Lukyanov said that "the sweet irony here is that the media described a handshake and a thirty-second conversation on the way to the table as a meeting, but if so, everyone was holding meetings with everyone else there," he pointed out. "Clearly, there wasn’t a chance [for serious talks] and there couldn’t have been. This is another example proving that reality and its reflection are two different things," the expert said.
On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a brief working visit to the French capital of Paris to attend events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice.