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 Macron's camp bans Russian propaganda media from its events, - Reuters

Kremlin says it is not taking sides in the election and calls conduct of Macron's side "outrageous."

Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

Russia accused French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign team of discriminating against its media on Thursday, saying it had trampled on the freedom of the press by banning Russian news outlets from its events.

In Paris, a Macron spokesman confirmed that the Russian state-funded Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel had been barred from having media access to him, describing them as a "two-headed entity" which issued Russian state propaganda and fake news.

Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and centrist, is widely seen as favorite to win the French presidency on May 7 by beating far right leader Marine Le Pen.

Read more: Russia-linked hackers tried to penetrate Macron campaign, - AP

Macron takes a hard line on EU sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis, whereas Le Pen, an admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is a eurosceptic who backs the lifting of sanctions and takes Russia's side on Ukraine.

The Kremlin has been irritated by accusations from Macron's camp that its campaign's networks, databases and sites have come under attack from locations inside Russia, fueling suspicions that Russia is trying to undermine Macron's campaign in order to help Le Pen.

The Macron spokesman referred to the two news outlets' "systematic desire to issue fake news and false information."

"Spreading lies methodically and systematically - that's a problem," he said.

Read more: Macron shares most adequate view of Ukraine, - Dzhemilev

"If this creates problems with the Kremlin, it will be the subject of an open discussion in the event of the candidate (Macron) being elected," the spokesman said.

Moscow has rejected allegations of meddling, and on Thursday Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dubbed "outrageous" the move by Macron's team to refuse accreditation to Sputnik, RT and the Ruptly video agency last Sunday.

Zakharova said Moscow viewed the ban as "deliberate and bare-faced discrimination against Russian media by the presidential candidate of a state that has historically been vigilant when it comes to free speech."


 
 
 
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