French officials reportedly threw a wrench into a potential lunch meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin on Sunday by seating the two away from each other.
The BBC reported that French officials made a “last minute” change to lunch seating arrangements after the two shook hands at a World War I remembrance.
Several world leaders also held bilateral meetings at the events. Mr Putin told journalists he had a brief conversation with Mr Trump and that it went well.
However, the French organisers of the lunch event changed the lunchtime seating arrangement at the last minute so Mr Trump and Mr Putin would not be sitting next to each other, Russian media reported.
Earlier, Reuters had reported that Trump and Putin were planning to meet during a “working” lunch on Sunday.
The Kremlin reportedly complained about the change in plans.
According to a Kremlin pool reporter, Macron then had Trump and Putin moved so they would not sit together at lunch
— Ian Bateson (@ianbateson) November 11, 2018
The Kremlin said earlier that the prospect of a full meeting between the US and Russian presidents had prompted huge international media interest, leading to concern from the French organisers this could overshadow the commemorations.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader and Trump greeted each other during lunch in Paris but had no opportunity to have a full-blown meeting.
When they parted they told each other “until we meet again”, Peskov said.
Reports also suggested that French officials had asked the two world leaders not to have a lengthy meeting while attending the World War I events.