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

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"When news outlets spread defamatory untruths, they are no longer journalists". "Russia Today and Sputnik ... behaved as organs of influence, of propaganda, of lying propaganda".

"I will never give in to that", Macron said.

There were no statements from Russia Today or Sputnik immediately available.

Macron, whose country is part of a Western coalition that supports rebel groups and has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of using chemical weapons, said any further use of chemical weapons in Syria was a red line for France which would result in reprisals.

The new French leader also threatened an "instant response" should chemical weapons be used in Syria in a muscular exchange with his Russian counterpart at Louis XIV's sumptuous Versailles palace outside Paris this week.

The meeting was Macron's first with the Russian leader, and he appeared intent on introducing himself as a new factor for Russia to take into consideration on the European stage.

"Putin likes these big symbolic things". I told President Putin what France is expecting regarding this issue, and we agreed to regularly check on this subject, ' Macron said.

The meeting took place at Versailles palace near Paris. And Mr. President did not show any interest in talking about it.

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Russia's president also said that countries such as the USA and France have sought to blame Assad for the April attack in order to justify "to the global community why it was necessary to continue to impose measures to pressure Assad, including militarily".

Macron then said that France is interested in intensifying cooperation with Russian Federation, particularly in resolving the Syrian crisis.

Ahead of Putin's visit, the 39-year-old centrist told a French weekly that he was not "bothered" by leaders who "think in terms of power dynamics".

"Our absolute priority is the fight against terrorism and the eradication of terrorist groups and Daesh in particular", said Macron using an alternate name for the so-called Islamic State (IS), which has claimed responsibility for multiple terrorist attacks in France.

Later Monday, Putin was visiting a newly built Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Center near the Seine River that includes the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The exhibition celebrates the ties between Russian Federation and France forged 300 years ago by Peter the Great when he visited France after encouraging diplomatic ties between the two countries.

With Peter the Great widely seen as a ruler who modernized Russia and sought to open it up to the West, the exhibition offers a symbolic backdrop for both to talk about the importance of Russia-France ties.

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