“Honestly, to say that we were surprised or upset is to say nothing. I think this condition could be better described as 'shock' when we heard the spokesman for the French government, Mr. Griveaux, just recently said the following. I quote: there are two media outlets that I refuse to see in the press room of the Elysee Palace, they are RT and Sputnik because I do not consider them to be media, they are not journalists, they are engaged in propaganda," Zakharova said at a weekly news briefing.
Last month, two French government's think tanks issued a report, which recommended the country's authorities to abstain from accrediting journalists of the RT broadcaster and the Sputnik news agency.
Last year, RT reporters were denied entry to the headquarters of then-French presidential candidate Macron twice in April, and in May, a Sputnik reporter was not allowed to enter the square in front of Paris' Louvre museum where Macron and his supporters were celebrating the victory in the presidential run-off. After Macron became French president, he accused RT and Sputnik of "spreading false information and slander."
The situation around RT and Sputnik in France is not unique for the European Union: in 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution claiming that Russia was waging information warfare and singled out RT and Sputnik. Russian President Vladimir Putin said the resolution proved that Western democracy was failing, but expressed hope that common sense would prevail and Russian media outlets would be able to work abroad without restrictions.