Macron vows reprisals if chemical weapons used in Syria

Macron said that "no [international] issue can be addressed without a dialogue with Russia".

Here is the footage of the press conference, though the French president spoke in French. The fight against terrorism, in particular, appeared to offer common ground.

The newly elected French leader said he favored "a democratic transition" in Syria that would "preserve the Syrian state".

Last Friday at G7 talks in Sicily, European Council President Donald Tusk urged the group's leaders to stick to their sanctions, but his urging came a day after a senior US official said Washington had no position on the issue.

Macron himself adopted a tough stance toward Russian Federation during his campaign, indicating, as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley noted earlier this month, that he might consider increasing sanctions on the country for its role in the fighting in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.

"What unites us allows us to hope that the possibility exists to improve our ties", he added later.

Macron's campaign repeatedly accused Russia of interference in the election, claiming that Russian hackers attempted to gain access to its data, and impede the work of its website. Earlier Monday, human rights activists protesting near the Eiffel Tower displayed a banner that said, "Stop homophobia in Chechnya".

Russian Federation is a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad whereas, as Putin adviser Yuri Ushakov said before the visit, France "is among the countries with a very severe stance towards (Assad's) regime".

He did not specify what form such reprisals could take, but France flies warplanes over Syria and Iraq, striking ISIS targets as part of an global coalition. Russia Today and Sputnik were organs of influence during this campaign which, on several occasions, produced untruths about me and my campaign.

"I will be constantly vigilant on these issues", Macron said.

Macron said the two media organizations "did not behave like press outlets, but behaved like agents of influence and propaganda" which spread "serious falsehoods", Macron said. If she sought a meeting, why should Russian Federation refuse her, Mr Putin asked. However, Moscow rejected the allegations of meddling in the election.

He said the meeting with Ms Le Pen did not represent an attempt to sway the race.

"Anyway, it is nearly impossible", he said.

Macron and his Russian counterpart also agreed on the need to restart dialogue on the situation with Ukraine.

Macron said he was firm on other issues, too.

Macron portrayed the Putin meeting as just a first step in resetting relations with Russian Federation.

"Putin likes these big symbolic things". I believe we've had an extremely frank and direct exchange.

"The French president proposed to put in place a working group that the experts can go to Moscow as they can to Paris", he added.

As part of his trip Monday, Putin is scheduled to visit the center near the Seine River that includes the Holy Trinity Cathedral along with a school and a book shop.

The body language Monday was good.

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meet for talks at the Versailles Palace, near Paris.

Versailles was chosen for the Macron-Putin meeting because an exhibition dedicated to Tsar Peter the Great is opening there.

Macron, standing alongside Putin at the Versailles palace near Paris, also staked out tough positions on sanctions and the civil war in Syria.

Putin called for the removal of the punitive measures, saying they won't help to bring peace to Russia's former Soviet neighbor.

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