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‘France can’t do that’ Kremlin spokesman says French media printed inaccurate information about Putin’s conversation with Macron

Source: Meduza
Raphael Lafargue / Pool / Sipa / Scanpix / LETA

On September 22, the French newspaper “Le Monde” published an article about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron about the poisoning of opposition politician Alexey Navalny. Here’s what Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had to say about the claims made in the article.

Business FM: How accurate did our colleagues from Le Monde convey the nature of the conversation between Putin and Macron?

Dmitry Peskov: The topic of the Berlin patient [Alexey Navalny] was indeed discussed during the recent conversation between President Putin and President Macron. And we reported on it. At the same time, the newspaper wasn’t at all accurate in the wording it conveyed. And in fairness, it could hardly be accurate. Otherwise, this would mean that our French partners deliberately shared a recording of the conversation between the two presidents with the media, which isn’t entirely consistent with diplomatic practice. We are convinced that this isn’t what happened. Putin and Macron disagree with each other often, they never hide it, they defend the interests of their countries, talk about many positive [things], and this doesn’t make their dialogue any less constructive, effective, [or] relevant.

Bloomberg: You said there were many inaccuracies in the way Le Monde described the conversation. We would like to understand which part [of the article] contains inaccuracies. Did Putin tell Macron that Navalny could have poisoned himself with “Novichok”?

Dmitry Peskov: There are many inaccuracies in the wording. I said what I wanted to say. I won’t say anything more on this topic.

Bloomberg: You underscored your certainty that this didn’t come from the Élysée Palace [the official residence of the French president]...

Dmitry Peskov: ...and, consequently, the newspaper couldn’t and cannot have reliable information. 

Bloomberg: As such, you haven’t [made] any claims to the French authorities in connection with this publication?

Dmitry Peskov: We can’t believe that the Élysée Palace deliberately, well, as we say in Russian, leaked a recording of the conversation between the two presidents to the press. After all, this is France. France can’t do that. We don’t even want to believe it.

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