Macron sees chance for diplomacy in conflict over Ukraine | News from Germany about Europe | DW

French President Emmanuel Macron sees an opportunity for a diplomatic solution to the conflict over Ukraine. “I am confident that we will achieve results, even if it is not easy,” the French leader said at a press conference after five hours of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, February 7.

This requires “strict and complete” implementation of the plan to resolve the situation in the Donbass, which provides for steps on the part of Kiev, Macron said. The coming days will be decisive and will require intensive negotiations, he added.

A new architecture of European security cannot be built by denying one country or another the right to join NATO, the French president stressed. At the end of 2021, Moscow demanded “security guarantees” from the Western powers, including the refusal of the North Atlantic Alliance to expand to the east and admit Ukraine into its structure.

Presidents of France and Russia will call each other after Macron’s visit to Zelensky

In turn, Putin admitted that a number of Macron’s ideas and proposals could become the basis for progress in resolving the conflict. Moscow will do everything possible to find compromises that suit all parties, the Russian president assured.

The French and Russian presidents agreed to speak again by phone in the coming days, following Macron’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev.

Russian troops near the Ukrainian border

Tensions between the West and Russia have risen in recent months. Since the second half of 2021, the Russian Federation has deployed more than 100 thousand military personnel to the annexed Crimea and to the border with Ukraine, explaining this by military exercises. Western leaders fear that Moscow is preparing for war.

The Kremlin denies plans to invade Ukraine and accuses the West of arming and maneuvering it near Russian borders. Western powers are urging Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine’s borders and threatening tough sanctions.

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