Vladimir Putin calls allegations of Russian interference in United States election "fiction"

Macron’s invitation for Putin was a surprise after his tough stance on Russia during the French presidential campaign. Putin also made his preferences during the presidential election clear by hosting Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin in March

Macron’s invitation for Putin was a surprise after his tough stance on Russia during the French presidential campaign. Putin also made his preferences during the presidential election clear by hosting Marine Le Pen at the Kremlin in March

"A very clear red line exists on our side, the use of chemical weapons by whomever", Macron said at a joint news conference in Versailles with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

He said any use of chemical weapons in Syria - where Russian Federation is propping up the government of President Bashar Assad - is a "red line" for France and would be met by "reprisals" and an "immediate riposte" from France.

He said he wanted to work with Putin to that end.

France is in the coalition backing Sunni Arab and Kurdish rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has strong military help from Russian Federation and Iran. Russian meddling became a concern in France after allegations that Russia sought to interfere in the US presidential contest that elected Donald Trump and after a document leak hit Macron's campaign in the final hours of the French race.

Pascal Boniface, the head of the Institute for global and Strategic Relations, says the exhibit at Versailles offered the new French president a chance to reengage with the longtime Russian leader.

The pair also discussed the Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its encroachment on neighbouring Ukraine as well as allegations of Russian meddling in France's presidential campaign.

A 2013 attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta that left hundreds dead crossed a "red line" drawn by then USA president Barack Obama.

On Monday he accused pro-Kremlin news outlets Russia Today and Sputnik of being "organs of influence and propaganda" against him.

"All use of chemical weapons will be the object of reprisals and of an immediate riposte on the part of the French", Mr Macron said.

The U.S. last month struck a Syrian air base with cruise missiles after accusing Assad's military of killing scores of civilians with a nerve agent launched from the base.

"It is not for me to comment on Madame Le Pen's visit" to Moscow, Macron said, in response to another question about the vote. His comments underscored the clear differences between the two men on multiple issues and fulfilled the French president's campaign promises to pull no punches with Russian Federation when needed.

Though the tone remained cordial throughout, Emmanuel Macron, the youngest democratically elected head of state in the world, and Vladimir Putin, the modern-day czar who has ruled Russia for the past 16 years, spoke with unaccustomed frankness about the issues that have poisoned contemporary Franco-Russian relations at a press conference in Versailles on Monday.

"I reminded him of the importance for France of the respect of all peoples and all minorities, all sensibilities in civil society", Macron said of Putin. The US Government subsequently worked with Russian Federation on a deal that was supposed to rid Syria of such weapons.

The two leaders agreed on the need of a new round of talks on the violence in eastern Ukraine.

Macron said France and Russia would pursue further dialogue in the "Normandy" format, including France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

Relations between Paris and Moscow became increasingly strained under former president Francois Hollande.

Human Rights Watch said in a new report last week that high-level officials in Russia's Chechnya humiliated inmates during visits to detention facilities where gay people were allegedly held and tortured. "I don't believe in the diplomacy of public invective, but in my bilateral conversations, I will let nothing pass".

This time the handshake was warmer but the tone guarded after an hour of talks on the 300th anniversary of a visit to Versailles by tsar Peter the Great.

Recommended News

  • Storm in Moscow storm kills six people in Moscow

    Storm in Moscow storm kills six people in Moscow

    Reports say at least 13 people died on Monday as severe thunderstorms battered Moscow , Russia, with dozens more injured. Tourist Frank Davis, from Newfoundland in Canada, was caught in heavy traffic in Moscow as the "dramatic storm" struck.

    Palestinians, Israel police clash at Jerusalem Old City gate

    Trump praised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip organising skills during a meeting in Jerusalem with Rivlin. On May 20, Trump arrived in Riyadh and held talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
    Record-equalling Noren claims stunning Wentworth win

    Record-equalling Noren claims stunning Wentworth win

    Yeah, I'm just happy that that's over. "At the start I wasn't thinking much of the deficit", he said. Sunday at Wentworth , Noren became his country's first victor of the European Tour's flagship event.
  • Proposed laptop ban on flights may expand

    Proposed laptop ban on flights may expand

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said they "might and likely will" intensify scrutiny of carry-on luggage as well. He added, "We will make a decision when the time is right".
    G7 declares North Korea is top priority

    G7 declares North Korea is top priority

    A White House official said after the launch that US President Trump was made aware of the latest actions of Pyongyang. On May 14, the test missile by Pyongyang reportedly reached an altitude of more than 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles).
    French Open to start with Petra Kvitova's return to court

    French Open to start with Petra Kvitova's return to court

    Four successive breaks of serve followed before Makarova saved seven break points in the crucial eighth game to cause the upset. She went into the Grand Slam tournament as 15th seed, telling reporters "I actually already won my biggest fight".
  • UK police make 7th arrest in Manchester terror probe

    UK police make 7th arrest in Manchester terror probe

    Trump on Thursday pledged to "get to the bottom" of leaks of sensitive information, calling the leaks "deeply troubling". "Why was there no outrage for the killing of an Arab and a Muslim in such a cruel way?" she asked.
    Man tried to bite flight attendant, jumped from plane

    Man tried to bite flight attendant, jumped from plane

    Following the episode, passengers were forced off the plane and had to be re-screened before they could return to their seats. He was stopped from running onto the active taxiway by airport workers, then taken to a local hospital for treatment.
    Indonesia police arrest three suspected of links to Jakarta bombing

    Indonesia police arrest three suspected of links to Jakarta bombing

    The attack is the deadliest since ISIS gunmen attacked a commercial center in Jakarta in January of a year ago . Three men have been arrested in Indonesia as part of an investigation into a terror attack on Wednesday.
  • Macron vows reprisals if chemical weapons used in Syria

    French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meet for talks at the Versailles Palace, near Paris. Putin called for the removal of the punitive measures, saying they won't help to bring peace to Russia's former Soviet neighbor.

    Armed police guarding FA Cup final after Manchester bomb

    But the Gunners missed out on the top four and have a host of injury concerns ahead of the Wembley clash. I take note of anyone - Tottenham play with that formation, Chelsea have - there are a lot of teams .

    Iranian film "A Man of Integrity" wins 'Certain Regard' competition at Cannes

    We experimented with looks and we did these pockmarks on my skin and no one recognised me. "It's insane . The movie is about a bank robber ( Pattinson ) who is unable to evade those who are tracking him down.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.