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Putin Cancels Paris Visit as Hollande Accuses Kremlin of 'War Crimes'

Stephane de Sakutin / AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cancelled his upcoming trip to Paris, the Reuters news agency has reported.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov claimed that the decision was made after certain cultural events in Paris, including the opening of a Russian Orthodox cathedral,  were "dropped from the president's schedule."

The move is more likely to be linked to accusations from  French President Francois Hollande accused the Kremlin of committing war crimes in Syria.

Speaking in an interview with French television channel TF1, Hollande said that he was unsure whether meeting Putin would be “useful” and said that he would not accompany his Russian counterpart on any cultural excursions. The French president claimed he would instead have a "firm and frank" conversation with Putin.

“If I receive him, I would tell him that [the bombing of Aleppo] is unacceptable. These people are the victims of war crimes, and those who commit those acts will have to take full responsibility for them in front of the International Criminal Court,” Hollande said.

Both sides have since spoken of their readiness to meet in the near future, but no date has yet been set.

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