Putin says he's certain that Syria's Assad didn't use chemical weapons

Laura Christensen
May 31, 2017

Macron talked with Putin about Syria, Ukraine and a slew of other worldwide developments before holding a joint press event with his Russian counterpart. Putin emphasized the need for closer co-operation between Russian Federation and France, two nuclear-armed permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The RT broadcaster and Sputnik agency are "organs of influence and untruthful propaganda, nothing more, nothing less", he declared.

On Sputnik and Russia Today, Macron showed little restraint, saying the two organizations spread "untruths about me and my campaign" during the French election.

"I don't envisage (his) departure", she said. During this conference, Macron decried Russia Today and Sputnik as "organs of influence" and he blasted them for spreading "despicable lies".

Macron's electoral victory has offered an opportunity for Paris to examine its policy on Syria as the previous administration's stance was considered too intransigent.

It also accused the Russians of having a hand in a massive cyberattack on key Macron aides.

He also said there was "nothing to discuss" when asked by journalists about allegations Russian Federation has tried to meddle in foreign elections. On Monday, Putin again poo-pooed the idea as unfounded press speculation.

The Russian strongman, who hosted Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen for talks during the election race, also shrugged off allegations that Russian hackers infiltrated Macron's campaign. Putin added that Russian Federation had been well aware of opinion polls predicting Macron's victory.

Mr Macron said he was firm on other issues, too.

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Obama said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would risk crossing a "red line" and provoking a United States military response by using or moving chemical or biological weapons.

Despite the denials of Syria and its backers Russian Federation and Iran, the US, France and others have said that evidence indicates the Syrian regime was behind the deadly April 4 chemical weapons assault. He portrayed the meeting - their first since the French presidential election - as just a first step in resetting the country's relations with Russian Federation.

"Putin likes these big symbolic things".

"It's indispensable to talk to Russian Federation because there are a number of worldwide subjects that will not be resolved without a tough dialogue with them", Macron said.

Monday's meeting between Macron and Putin was the first since Macron was sworn in as president May 14.

"I emphasized to President Putin...how important it is for France to respect all people, all minorities", Macron said. Putin underlined the importance of securing the Syrian state, adding that it's essential for combatting terrorism. Tatiana Vinnichenko, of the Russian LGBT Network, says her organization is in talks with four European countries to issue visas - and sanctuary - for the men who were arrested and targeted.

Putin said that terrorism can not be defeated by dismantling a country's statehood.

Later Monday, Putin is to visit the center near the Seine River that includes the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Other reports by My Hot News

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