vladimir putin.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ BETA/ Marko RUPENA/ik

Russian President Vladimir Putin told an international investment forum in Moscow on Wednesday that France has been trying to stir up "anti-Russian hysteria in the mass media under its control."

Russia this week vetoed a France-initiated resolution on the Syria conflict at the United Nations Security Council because it placed "all the blame exclusively on the official Syrian authorities," Putin said in a speech, according to comments carried by the Interfax news agency.

"There was nothing mentioned of the opposition," Putin told the forum, Russia Calling, organized by state bank VTB. "I'm not even talking about the terrorists, who should have some of the blame."

France submitted the resolution "in expectation of a Russian veto," Putin said. "They did not do it for the resolution to pass. They threw it in there knowing our position and without discussing our suggestions with us, in order to get this veto. Why? To exacerbate the situation."

France has called for a war crimes investigation into the bombing of one of Syria's most populous cities, Aleppo, much of which is controlled by militant groups.

Russia and the Syrian military have been bombing the city in what they say is an effort to eliminate entrenched terrorist groups. Western powers say the bombing is killing civilians.

Amid the tensions with France, Putin cancelled a visit to Paris that had been scheduled for next week. The Kremlin said Putin would reconsider the visit when it would be more convenient for France's leadership.

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