France’s Macron will meet with Putin and Zelensky in separate talks next week

French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 7 and Ukrainian leader on February 8 to discuss Ukraine’s situation, as Western leaders try to avoid a major conflict with Russia over Ukraine.

Macron’s office added that he would meet with Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev a day after his meeting with Putin.

Macron has said it was a priority to find a negotiated path to escalating tensions around Ukraine, although the United States has said it will send 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania as Russia rallies near Ukraine.

Macron held separate telephone talks with Russian and Ukrainian leaders on Thursday to try to make progress on the status of the Donbass region as part of efforts to ease tensions, Macron’s office said in a statement on Thursday.

That statement had also said that Macron had emphasized to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky the importance of discussing the conditions for achieving strategic balance in Europe that would enable a reduction in tensions on the ground and ensure security on the continent.

The United States had also said on Thursday that Russia had formulated several options as an excuse to invade Ukraine, including the potential use of a propaganda video showing a staged attack, when the Kremlin condemned the deployment of US troops in the region.

(REUTERS)

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