Dismissing concerns among some in the international community that Moscow poses a danger, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Western countries should not "invent imaginary threats," Le Figaro reported on Tuesday.
In an interview with the newspaper during his visit to France, Putin brushed off concerns voiced by NATO about his regime, saying that "You frighten yourself. You rely on imaginary data."
The Russian president said the most vital problem currently facing the world is terrorism, and the only way to fight it is through international cooperation. He stressed that Russia is a key and necessary ally in the effort to restore global security.
In a Versailles press conference with Putin on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out at Russia's attempts to meddle in the recent French elections, accusing two Kremlin-funded news organizations of spreading "lying propaganda," The Intercept reported.
"Russia Today and Sputnik were influence operations during this campaign, which on several occasions told lies about me personally and my campaign," Macron said, as Putin appeared to shift uneasily. "When news outlets spread defamatory untruths, they are no longer journalists. They are influence operations. I will never give in to that. Never."
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