It was a nicely set trap, with bait that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not refuse.
The new French President Emmanuel Macron invited the Russian leader on May 29 to the Palace of Versailles, where an exhibition was to open the next day about 1717 visit of Russian czar Peter the Great to France. Putin displays a portrait of Peter the Great in his office and fancies himself as a leader on par with the czar.
Moreover, Putin’s visit came just days after a moody G7 summit in Italy that saw cracks widen in the Western alliance, primarily between the European Union, led by Germany, and the United States and Britain. Putin seeks to divide the West.