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Rights activists in Paris protest Putin visit

09 Juin 2017

In early May, top diplomats from five EU member states forwarded a letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, stressing that media reports about the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya had raised great concern in the European capitals.

Mr Putin, 64, cancelled his last planned visit in October after Mr Hollande accused Russian Federation of war crimes in Syria and refused to roll out the red carpet for him.

The two leaders emerged from three-hour talks exchanging smiles and hailing historic ties between the two nations, but their comments at a news conference reflected deep divides on multiple issues.

The newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron has met the Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday. "They are influence operations", Macron said, as Putin shifted uneasily from side to side.

In answering a reporter's question, Macron minced no words in explaining why his campaign team had shut out two Russian-associated news organizations, Russia Today and Sputnik.

"I will give no ground at all to that". The French leader went on to say that this issue demands "an inclusive political solution".

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have a whole lot of ground to cover Monday: Between the long-standing conflict in eastern Ukraine, the six-year-old civil war in Syria and their own countries' tattered ties, the Russian president's stop at the Palace of Versailles promises plenty of hard topics for conversation.

He did not specify the form of such reprisals, but France flies warplanes over Syria and Iraq, striking Islamic State targets as part of an global coalition.

Un parlement sans majorité absolue — Royaume-Uni
Mais les travaillistes de Jeremy Corbyn ont contrarié ces plans au terme d'une campagne réussie. Reste à voir quelle incidence aura le résultat des élections sur les négociations du Brexit.

Mr Macron portrayed the meeting as just a first step in resetting the country's relations with Russian Federation. That's the first time a French president has done that, says Sacha Koulaeva with the International Federation of Human Rights. "It was a frank exchange, extremely direct ..." Macron agreed, adding, "we disagree on a number of things but at least we discussed them".

Despite the sometimes tough tone of the news conference, Macron received Putin with all the usual formalities: When Putin opened the door of his black limousine in the vast Versailles courtyard, as the formally dressed French Republican guard - in gold-braid decorated uniforms - stood at attention, Macron came down the red carpet to the auto to greet him. The election of Donald Trump did that, and so evidently did the election of moderate Emmanuel Macron as president of France.

"Some press bodies did indeed interfere with my campaign", Macron said.

Mr Macron said he wanted France to "strengthen" its "partnership with Russia" in its fight against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

Macron told a French weekly that he was "not bothered" by leaders who "think in terms of power ratios", citing Putin as an example along with Trump.

As he stood beside Mr Putin, Mr Macron also accused two media outlets, Russia Today and Sputnik, of acting like "organs of influence" rather than objective news channels.

"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. Human rights groups opposed the project when it first was approved in 2008. The meeting took place on the 300th anniversary of Russian Tsar Peter the Great's visit to Versailles.

Rights activists in Paris protest Putin visit