Putin cancels visit to France amid row over Syria

Mr Putin was due to visit Paris later this month
Mr Putin was due to visit Paris later this month

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has cancelled a planned visit to France amid a row over Syria.

He had been due to meet French President Francois Hollande and open a new Orthodox church later this month.

But after France’s government said talks would be confined to Syria the visit was halted, French presidential sources said.

On Monday, Mr Hollande suggested Russia could face war crimes charges over its bombardment of Syria’s city of Aleppo.

The French presidency had told the Russians Mr Hollande would attend only one event with Mr Putin during the visit planned for 19 October – a working meeting on Syria, according to the sources.

But after this Russia “let it be known that it wanted to postpone the visit”, they added.

A spokesman for Mr Putin confirmed the trip had been cancelled, adding that the visit would take place when it becomes “comfortable for President Hollande”.

Despite this Mr Hollande has said he will meet Mr Putin at “any time” if it would “further peace”.

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