Russia accuses France of ‘inflaming situation’ over Syria
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday accused France of pushing for a UN proposal on Syria at the weekend knowing Russia would veto it, blaming the United States for leaning on Paris.
"They put forward the resolution knowing that it would not pass...in order to incite a veto," Putin told an investment conference in Moscow.
"Why? It was aimed at inflaming the situation and fanning hysteria around Russia."
He accused French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of going back on promises given during his Moscow visit last Thursday and instead ignoring Russia's proposals for the resolution and "blaming Russia for all the deadly sins" in Syria.
He implied that France was serving US interests, which is using this hysteria in the presidential campaign.
"This is especially valuable in the conditions of the pre-election campaign," Putin said.
"I don't know if that corresponds with the interests of European countries, but to serve foreign policy, even domestic policy interests of an ally, in this case the US, is that the role of... serious states that claim to have independent foreign policy and call themselves a great country?"