Furious Vladimir Putin CANCELS visit to Paris after Francois Hollande insists they discuss Russia's support of Syria's President Assad
- Vladimir Putin has cancelled a trip to Paris set to take place next week
- Comes after French leader Francois Hollande insisted they talk about Syria
- The visit would have seen Putin undertake several visits in French capital
- But Hollande was only prepared to meet Russian president for Syria talks
Vladimir Putin has pulled out of a visit to Paris next week to meet with Francois Hollande who insisted they discuss Russian support for Syria's President Assad.
The Kremlin confirmed this morning that Putin had cancelled the trip to the French capital where he was due to meet with Hollande and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The long-planned visit to Paris, which would have taken place next Wednesday, would have seen Putin inaugurate a new Russian Orthodox church near the Eiffel Tower as well as visit a Russian cultural centre and an exhibition
Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has pulled out of a visit to Paris next week after France insisted they talk about Syria
It is thought that Hollande had told the Kremlin that the only event he wanted to attend with Putin during his visit would be a 'working meeting' on Syria.
The French president's office then said that Moscow 'let it be known that it wanted to postpone the trip.'
But the Kremlin hit back saying Putin is happy to go to France but only when the 'French president is ready.'
His spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: 'Regrettably, those events dropped out of the program,' saying it's up to the French side to explain the reason.
It is thought that Hollande had told the Kremlin that the only event he wanted to attend with Putin during his visit would be a 'working meeting' on Syria
He added: 'The president decided to cancel the visit.'
He also said that Putin could visit France at a later date which would be 'comfortable' for Hollande.
Putin cancelling his trip to Paris comes after Hollande left open the question of whether he would receive the Russian leader, describing the scorched-earth campaign in Aleppo as a war crime.
Hollande told the TMC Channel: 'I asked myself the question... Is it useful? Is it necessary? Can it be a way of exerting pressure? Can we get him to stop what he is doing with the Syrian regime?'
Meanwhile yesterday, it was announced that France will ask the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to launch an investigation into war crimes it says have been committed by Syrian and Russian forces in eastern Aleppo.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told France Inter radio: 'These bombings - and I said it in Moscow - are war crimes. It includes all those who are complicit for what's happening in Aleppo, including Russian leaders.
'We shall contact the International Criminal Court prosecutor to see how she can launch these investigations.'
It was announced that France will ask the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to launch an investigation into war crimes it says have been committed by Russian forces in eastern Aleppo
Hollande has also left open the question of whether he would receive the Russian leader, describing the scorched-earth campaign in Aleppo as a war crime
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also called for a war crimes investigation last week.
But Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova: 'It is very dangerous to play with such words because war crimes also weigh on the shoulders of American officials.
It is unclear how the ICC could proceed given that the court has no jurisdiction for crimes in Syria because it is not a member.
It appears the only way for the case to make it to the ICC would be through the U.N. Security Council referral, which has been deadlocked over Syria. Moscow vetoed a French resolution in May 2014 to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC.
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