New French President Emmanuel Macron called RT (formerly Russia Today) television and Sputnik multi-media "propaganda" following his first face-to-face talks with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Macron called the outlets "organs of influence and propaganda" against him in this year's presidential elections, during which Putin was seen as supporting Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen. Alleged cyber attacks against Macron's campaign were also linked to Russia.
Putin denied the allegations during the news conference Monday at the palace of Versailles, saying the Kremlin did not try to influence the French vote, though he did defend a March meeting with Le Pen.
Macron said the two also discussed LGBT rights in Chechnya.
"President Putin told me ... he had undertaken several initiatives on the subject of LGBT people in Chechnya with measures aimed at establishing the whole truth about the activities of local authorities," Macron said.
On the subject of Ukraine, Putin reiterated that he believes Western sanctions will do nothing to solve the conflict.
"Here is the answer: in no way. Let's fight for all the restrictions in the global economy to be scrapped," he told the news conference. Paris has played an active role in the West's punitive response to Moscow's actions in Ukraine.
The two leaders agreed to work together more closely to combat terrorism around the globe. Putin said Macron had proposed exchanging official delegations to work toward that goal during their talks.
Macron told reporters he believes the two countries can work together to build peace in Syria, but that the use of chemical weapons in the war-torn country would be a "red line" for France.
Macron is the first European leader to meet with Putin following the meeting of the G-7 nations, where Macron said that "tough dialogue" with Russia was critical to Syria's future.
"It's indispensable to talk to Russia because there are a number of international subjects that will not be resolved without a tough dialogue with them," Macron told reporters at the end of the G-7 summit Saturday.
Source: Voice of America