Hollande paid surprise visit to Putin in Moscow

On Dec. 6, 2014, on his way back from Kazakhstan, French president François Hollande met briefly with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in an unexpected express meeting at Vnukovo-2 Moscow airport. Although the non-delivery of the Mistral vessel does tarnish bilateral relations, the two presidents did agree on the need to “definitely contribute to resolving many of the problems” and “to get rid of the barriers and walls that might divide us”. The hot topic of Mistral wasn’t tackled, said Putin who made a point of showing himself conciliatory affirming that “however the situation on this issue may develop, we will treat it with understanding”. Ukraine, Iran’s nuclear program and settlement in Syria were also discussed, without further comments to the press. Meanwhile, a Russian cargo plane carrying French military equipment was allowed to take off and fly to Chad after a brief imbroglio with Nigeria’s federal authorities at Kano international airport.