The Kremlin has confirmed this Friday that the meeting between the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, in Moscow on Monday took place at a four-meter table due to the Frenchman’s refusal to undergo a test. PCR.
“Yes, it is like that”, confirmed the spokesman for the Russian Presidency, Dmitri Peskov, who assured that the Russian authorities “understand” the desire of some foreign leaders not to submit to PCR test taken by Russian doctors.
Putin and Macron met on Monday to seek a solution to the crisis in Ukraine. After a meeting of more than five hours, the image of the meeting at a table four meters long caused some diplomats to suggest that the Russian president might want to send a message to Europe in the climate of tension. In fact, the western press interpreted this photograph as a symbol of the great distance between Russia and the European Union.
Sources quoted by the Reuters news agency affirm that Macron did not want to take the test so that the Russians did not have “in their hands the DNA of the president”.
“There is no politics here”
Given the refusal of the French president to submit to the PCR test requested by the Kremlin Before meeting with Putin, a great distance was imposed between the two to avoid possible contagion. According to the Kremlin, when the interlocutors of the Russian president do not take a test before the meeting, “a protocol of additional measures is activated to protect the health of the Russian leader and his guests“, which implies a greater health distance than usual.
“There is nothing political here. Everyone understands it perfectly and that does not prevent negotiationswhich is the most important,” said the Kremlin spokesman.
For their part, Elysée sources have indicated that “the protocol conditions that would have allowed a meeting with the two heads of state with a smaller distance were not neither acceptable nor compatible with scheduling problems“from Macron.
The French president underwent a PCR before leaving and an antigen test once in the country, but in both cases were carried out by French toilets.
Sources quoted by Reuters affirm that the Russians offered Macron two options: that Russian toilets carry out a PCR test that allowed him to get closer to Putin or not do it and adhere to stricter social distancing with the president.
“We could not accept that they had in their hands the DNA of the presidentOne of the sources told Reuters, referring to security concerns if the French leader was tested by Russian doctors.
French sources have refused to confirm whether Macron’s refusal is in response to his wish that Russia not have his DNA.
Meetings with other leaders
In recent weeks, the Russian president has received several world leaders in Moscow and there doesn’t seem to be a clear pattern in the social distancing measures of the Russian protocol.
Earlier this month, Putin received his counterpart from Argentina, Alberto Fernández, in the Kremlin, with whom he shook hands and held a meeting in which they were divided by a tiny table.
A day earlier, the Russian president received the Hungarian prime minister, with whom met at the same table as with Macron.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.