Speed Reads

pass the salt

The reported reason why that table between Macron and Putin was so long

If you were among those laughing at the size of the table situated between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, (1) we do not blame you, and (2) turns out, that comically-massive table may have actually been ... a COVID precaution.

Two sources with knowledge of Macron's health protocol told Reuters that Macron refused a COVID test from Russian authorities for fear of giving Moscow his DNA, Reuters reports Thursday. The French president had reportedly been warned that no Russian test meant "more stringent social distancing," per Reuters.

"We knew very well that meant no handshake and that long table. But we could not accept that they get their hands on the president's DNA," a source said of the security concerns in having Russian doctors handle the test. 

The other source confirmed that Macron was, however, tested with a French PCR test before leaving France, and was given an antigen test by his own doctor once in Russia.  

All in all, the two world leaders spoke for almost six hours ... and still didn't make much of a diplomatic breakthrough. Looks like that Russian invasion is still on the table.