Macron heads to Kyiv after talks with Putin

Macron heads to Kyiv after talks with Putin

Diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions around Ukraine continued on Tuesday as French President Emmanuel Macron was expected in Kiev after hours of talks with the Russian leader in Moscow, with no apparent success.

Macron will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as he fears Russian aggression. Moscow has amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but insists it has no plans to attack Ukraine. The Kremlin has demanded guarantees from the West that NATO would not accept Ukraine and other former Soviet nations as members, halt the deployment of weapons there and withdraw its forces from Eastern Europe – demands that the US and Reject as NATO nonstarter.

In recent weeks, Western leaders have engaged in high-level diplomacy in the hope of de-escalating tensions and preventing attacks. Macron met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday for more than five hours. The leaders stressed the need for more dialogue. Putin said the US and NATO had ignored Moscow’s demands, but signaled their readiness to continue talks. He also warned that Ukraine joining NATO could trigger a war between Russia and the coalition. “If Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and proceeds to reclaim Crimea, European countries will automatically be drawn into a military conflict with Russia,” Putin said, adding that “there will be no winners.”

“We tried to create elements that converge,” Macron said. “The days ahead will be important and require an in-depth discussion together.” He said Europe has a duty to find solutions to try to rebuild good-neighbor relations with Russia.

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