French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Russian state-owned media for meddling in democratic elections while standing next to Vladimir Putin, Politico reports.
Macron called state-owned outlets RT and Sputnik, “agents of influence” that lied about him during his campaign, while talking in a joint presser with Putin in Versailles.
Macron said the two outlets, “did not behave like press outlets, but behaved like agents of influence and propaganda” that pushed, “serious falsehoods,” Macron said. “I will never give in to that.”
In his first meeting with Putin, Macron tackled “all issues,” including Russian cyber hacking, aides said. Macron’s team blamed Russia for a hack before the second round of the French election.
“We spoke at length about the details of the situation” in Ukraine, said Macron, and that France and Russia wanted, “in the shortest timeframe a dialogue in the Normandy format, and that a full account of the situation can be shared.”
The Normandy format means discussions among Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France. Macron called for peace in the Ukraine, greater cooperation in Syria to restore peace and political order.
“I recalled the importance in France of the respect of all people, all minorities,” said Macron. He brought up the persecution of gays in Chechnya and Russia: “I will be constantly vigilant on these questions.”