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

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Putin told reporters that Macron had not broached the subject of the cyberattack in their talks.

French President Emmanuel Macron has made an extraordinary attack on two Russian media outlets, saying they acted as "propaganda" organs during France's election campaign.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said allegations of Russian meddling in the USA presidential election are "fiction" invented by Democrats to explain their loss. "According to our information, there is no evidence al-Assad forces used chemical weapons". In response, Putin appeared to deny that Russian hackers targeted the French election ("that would have been impossible"), and he insisted that there was "nothing to discuss" regarding other foreign elections and hacking.

Apart from working together on the settlement of worldwide crises, France and Russian Federation share a wide range of fields, in which cooperation could be mutually beneficial, including the food industry, space, defense and energy sector, Schaffhauser noted.

The meeting, which took place in Versailles on Monday afternoon, started off with a handshake that was praised for being "unremarkable". "The French President did not show any interest, and I even less".

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The secretary-general of Le Pen's far-right National Front party, Nicolas Bay, said later that "of course" Le Pen's contacts with Russian Federation continue and "there is no reason these contacts wouldn't continue long-term".

Macron greeted Putin with a firm handshake on a red carpet leading into the Palace of Versailles before both men walked inside.

Putin and Macron will hold a joint news conference after their talks. Before the leaders' meeting, protestors stood in front of the Eiffel Tower with a sign written in French that translated to: "Stop homophobia in Chechnya".

Putin's trip is likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, with Putin trying to mend strained ties with the West and with Macron after the Russian leader backed Macron's far-right rival Marine Le Pen.

Mr. Putin emphasised the need for Russian Federation and France to develop closer cooperation and strongly rejected accusations of meddling in the recent French presidential vote.

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Numerous media outlets since April have reported that gay men in Chechnya were being rounded up, tortured, and killed by police.

Macron had invited the Russian leader to France to reset a relationship that has turned increasingly sour.

Mr. Macron's invitation for his Russian counterpart was a surprise after his tough stance on Russia during the French election.

And on perhaps the thorniest point of difference between the two nations, their stance on Syria, Macron let Putin know that he was going to take a hardline there as well.

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