The French leader's remarks "show a lack of understanding of the course of the conflict", says Russian President Putin, referring to Macron's hostile remarks on Azerbaijan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have slammed "unacceptable" comments from French leader Emmanuel Macron, on the decades-long conflict between Baku and Yerevan.
The French leader's remarks "show a lack of understanding of the course of the conflict," Putin said on Friday during a meeting of leaders of Commonwealth of Independent States members in Kazakhstan.
He added that Macron's accusations "sounded incorrect" and were "unacceptable".
"There will be an opportunity" to "discuss" this with Macron, Putin said as he also invited the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to Russia for talks "at any time, in any place".
"Russia has always sincerely sought to resolve any conflicts, including issues related to Karabakh," he said.
In comments to French television on Wednesday, Macron accused Russia of "destabilising" and "seeking to create disorder" in the Caucasus.
Macron also accused Azerbaijan of launching "a terrible war, with many deaths, atrocious scenes".
More recently, "Azerbaijan has launched several offensives along the border (with Armenia). We have condemned them. We will not abandon Armenians," he said.
Aliyev reacted angrily on Friday, saying Macron "came up with insulting, unacceptable, false and provocative statements".
"We do not see any further possibility for France to play any role in the process of normalisation of Azerbaijani-Armenian relations," he said.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.
In fall 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were under Armenian occupation. The fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia after Armenia accepted defeat.
Tensions flared up again recently, as 200 Armenian soldiers and 80 Azerbaijani personnel were killed in a flare-up last month, which ended with a truce widely welcomed by the international community.