August 19, 2019 / 4:38 PM / a month ago

Putin tells Macron: Russia does not want protests like you have

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Russia's President Vladimir Putin, at his summer retreat of the Bregancon fortress on the Mediterranean coast, near the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas, southern France, on August 19, 2019. Gerard Julien/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Monday that Moscow did not want protests like the yellow vest ones that have convulsed France, but that peaceful demonstrations were fine.

Putin was speaking at Macron’s summer residence in southern France ahead of talks on a range of subjects between the two leaders.

In his first comments on six weeks of protests in Moscow over the exclusion of some opposition candidates from an election in the Russian capital next month, Putin told reporters that protesters had to respect the law.

Those guilty of breaking Russia’s protest laws should be held responsible, Putin said in answer to a question, and nobody had the right to incite clashes at demonstrations.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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