Mr Macron (right) believes it is essential to talk to Russia (Image Credit: Reuters)

France's Macron holding 'tough' talks with Putin near Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding his first face-to-face talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin near Paris, amid tensions over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

They met at the ornate Grand Trianon Palace at Versailles. Mr Macron said he expected some tough words.

It could be an awkward meeting, the BBC's Lucy Williamson in Paris reports.

Recently Mr Macron's election team accused Russian agents of launching cyber attacks against them.

At the G7 summit in Sicily at the weekend Mr Macron said: "It is essential to talk to Russia because there are a number of international issues that will not be resolved without a tough dialogue with them."

France is in the coalition backing Sunni Arab and Kurdish rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has strong military help from Russia and Iran.

France has taken a tough line against Moscow over Russia's intervention in Ukraine. Western sanctions, imposed after...Read more...