World leaders paid their final respects to France’s ex-president Jacques Chirac as the country held a national day of mourning for its charismatic former head of state.
Putin and other world leaders joined President Emmanuel Macron for a funeral service at the Saint-Sulpice church in the French capital, a day after 7,000 people queued to view Chirac’s coffin.
Chirac’s death on Thursday aged 86 prompted a flood of tributes to a man whose high-profile political career spanned four decades, capped by 12 years as president from 1995 to 2007.
But it also sparked questions about how much the consummate political operator actually achieved during his long spell in office and again threw the spotlight on a 2011 conviction for graft over his time as Paris mayor.
Chirac’s coffin, draped in a French flag, was carried into the church by his former bodyguards while onlookers applauded outside.
Other world leaders attending included Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, and former US leader Bill Clinton.
The national day of mourning Monday will later see a minute of silence observed in all public institutions and schools.
The tributes will continue through Wednesday when the France rugby team will don black armbands in a sign of mourning for Chirac during their World Cup clash with the United States in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.