VERSAILLES — Three hundred years ago, a Russian guy visited a French guy here.
Today at the same place, a Russian guy, also a czar, visited a French guy.
Associate solitary reporter Larry Theis, our chief European correspondent, was there as Vladimir Putin met with France's new president, Emmanuel Macron. Theis is fluent in both French and Russian.
After Macron told Putin what a bad dude he was by trying his damnedest to elect France's version of Donald Trump (Marine LePen), he told his guest to do the right thing in Ukraine by chasing his militias out of Eastern Ukraine, giving Crimea back to Ukraine, and sending his close personal friend, Syrian Dictator Bashar al-Assad, to Trump’s favorite place in Cuba (Gitmo) for appropriate processing.
Then Putin told his host, “Sometime next year, I’m going to march my armies straight from Moscow through Belarus, then Poland, then Germany, ending up at the Arc de Triomphe. I will be the first one there. Will you be there to greet me?”
“Merci de me le faire savoir,” the newby president said, ”Oui, j’y serai, mais avec mon force de frappe” ("Thanks for the heads-up; I will be there with my nukes”).