French President Emmanuel Macron met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin at his summer retreat at the Bregancon fortress on the Mediterranean coast in southern France, Monday, August 19.
The visit comes before world leaders gather for the G-7 Summit in Biarritz, France on Saturday. Russia was excluded from what was the G-8 in 2014 after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine, a move that the international community declared illegal.
Macron, the G-7 host, has made fighting inequality the theme for the annual meeting of the seven industrialized nations, which opens Saturday in the French seaside resort of Biarritz with the leaders of the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada in attendance.
The French president has invited leaders from several other countries, including six African nations, to take part in the annual discussion of major global challenges. But analysts say any grand ambitions for the summit will likely be stymied by pressing economic concerns.
Most worrisome are recent indicators from both sides of the Atlantic of slowing economic growth and a possible global recession.