Vladimir Putin calls allegations of Russian interference in U.S. election "fiction"

After describing dialogue with Russia as essential to solving a number of problems, Macron also said that he had been frank about the need for Putin to stop the brutal treatment of members of the LGBT community in the Russian republic of Chechnya. Yet Macron's not afraid to go up against with not-so-friendly types, which is why he pulled off a "not innocent" handshake with President Trump to ward off an Alpha-Omega relationship.

Speaking with remarkable frankness, Mr. Macron also tore into two Russian media outlets Sputnik and Russia Today that he said had spread "serious untruths" during the French presidential campaign that he won on May 7.

Putin said after talks with Macron at the Palace of Versailles on Monday that the French leader proposed exchanging official delegations to work toward that goal. Putin underlined the importance of securing the Syrian state, adding that it's essential for combatting terrorism.

According to reports, the two spoke for nearly three hours about LGBT rights, Syria, and Russia's role in the French election before emerging for a joint press conference.

Macron said yesterday that the use of chemical weapons in Syria constituted a "red line" for France and "would result in reprisals and an immediate response, at least where France is concerned".

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen maintains contacts with Moscow after visiting Vladimir Putin in March, but had no plans to meet with the Russian leader or Russian aides during Putin's visit to France. And Mr. President did not show any interest in talking about it. Last year, Putin abruptly cancelled a visit to France after Macron's predecessor, Francois Hollande, decried Russian bombings in the Syrian city of Aleppo as a "war crime". "I told President Putin what France is expecting regarding this issue, and we agreed to regularly check on this subject", Macron Macron noted Putin told him he started initiatives in regard to the situation in Chechnya. "According to our information, there is no evidence al-Assad forces used chemical weapons".

Back in April, CNN reported that there had been allegations of mass arrest and torture of gay men within Chechnya.

His meeting with Putin came just days after Macron made his mark on the world stage, welcoming US President Donald Trump with an aggressive handshake that the French leader later said was meant to show that he wouldn't "make small concessions". Putin did more than any other foreign leader to undermine Macron's legitimacy in France's recent presidential election, meeting with his far-right opponent during the campaign.

As such, Macron's first meeting with Putin was firm, but diplomatic.

  • Zachary Reyes