Emmanuel Macron’s symbolic agenda is busy this weekend. Reinvested on Saturday, before going to attend the Coupe de France final to greet the teams and hand over the cup to the winner as tradition dictates, the Head of State continues with meaningful commemorations. In the midst of the war in Ukraine, and on the eve of the Russian military parade in Moscow, the president was at the Arc de Triomphe to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the victory of May 8, 1945 of the Allies over Nazi Germany.
The Head of State arrived by car to lay a wreath in front of the statue of General de Gaulle at the bottom of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées at 11 a.m. A cornflower in his buttonhole, President Macron exchanged a few words with the general’s grandson, before getting back in his car to reach the Arc de Triomphe, escorted by the large mixed escort of the Republican Guard, greeted by a few passers-by. .
Videoconference with G7 members and Volodymyr Zelensky
It was the first time since 2019 that the public was allowed for this ceremony, after two years of restrictions due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Place de l’Etoile, Emmanuel Macron met with the head of government Jean Castex and the ministers of the Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs, Florence Parly and Geneviève Darrieusecq. He honored the flag, before reviewing the troops then laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and rekindling the flame.
Asked about the very particular context of this ceremony, the Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot told the journalists present that it was a “moment which takes on a very considerable significance” with the war in Ukraine. “We thought the war was gone from Europe,” she added.
“Today we commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe and the victory of the Allied fighters over Nazi Germany. We do not forget the soldiers from all over the former USSR, including Ukrainians and Russians, who contributed to this victory, ”wrote Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Twitter. This commemoration opens an international sequence for the Head of State who will participate this Sunday from 5 p.m. in a videoconference of the members of the G7 “relating to the situation in Ukraine”, before going to Strasbourg on Monday for the day of the Europe and then to Berlin to meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz.