Moscow alleged that the French organisers of the press conference in New Delhi prevented reporters from the state-run RIA Novosti and “Russia-News” from entering, and tried to confiscate their phones.
“The country’s authorities were asked to stop pressurising and discriminating against unwanted media outlets, to stop labelling, and to treat Russian media in the same way as French journalists are treated in Russia,” Moscow’s Foreign Ministry said.
A French diplomatic source told AFP at the time that Russia’s version of events was incorrect.
“Nobody broke any phones, of course, and we had to turn away around thirty journalists of all nationalities due to lack of space in the room,” the source said.
An AFP reporter at the press conference said the room was full and that some journalists had been prevented from entering.
Russia has long accused France of discriminating against its journalists, including after the Elysee Palace refused to grant accreditation to Russia Today, Moscow’s flagship news outlet.
During a 2017 visit by President Vladimir Putin to France, Macron accused the Russia Today and state-owned Sputnik news outlets of publishing “falsehoods” during the French Presidential election campaign.
“Russia Today and Sputnik did not behave like press organs and journalists, but they behaved like organs of influence, propaganda and misleading propaganda,” Macron said then.