Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov has likened French President Francois Hollande’s behavior to that of a host who first invites guests to dinner only to change his mind at the last minute.
As he talked to a group of journalists on Thursday, Ushakov explained why Putin had made a decision not to go to Paris on October 19.
“As far as Paris is concerned, a great deal has been said about the affair. I was involved personally in the related diplomatic procedures when it was all ‘cooking’,” Ushakov said. He narrated all phases of preparations for Putin’s visit to Paris in very plain terms.
“It looked like this. Imagine you get an invitation from the host to come to his place as a guest to have dinner and a chat. The invitation you get is made not by telephone. The host sends very beautifully disguised invitations. He says, ‘You and me will do this and that, we have certain plans for this day, you are welcome’,” Ushakov said. “Then you tell him in reply, ‘Yes, of course, I will come with great pleasure, if this day suits you, if you feel comfortable, and if nothing intervenes. Settled.’ And you get ready for the visit and you plan to stay at the host’s home for a while.”
Ushakov said the further events took a strange turn. “The host then starts saying in public in the company of his friends, “What if I don’t invite this guy? Why should I meet with him at all?’” Ushakov said. “The invited person eventually learns about the host’s behavior, because ‘you get the information through friends’.”
“What is more, the host’s secretary makes a telephone call and tells you, “You know, please feel free to come, you can take your time, though possibly the host will be not at home. You can walk around on your own. The host may drop in for a cup of tea, of course. So it’s up to you to decide, if you should be here or not,” Ushakov said. “That’s what the situation on the eve of (Putin’s canceled visit to Paris) looked like. This explains why it ended the way did.”