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Macron urges Putin to spare Ukrainian civilians

Macron address Wednesday
Source: Wikimedia Commons

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to spare civilians in Ukraine, the French leader’s office said in a statement.

Macron’s office said that in a 90-minute phone call he had asked the Russian leader to stop attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, and secure major roadways, in particular the road from the south of Kyiv.

“President Putin confirmed his willingness to make commitments on these three points,” the statement said.

Macron also “reiterated the demand of the international community to stop the Russian offensive against Ukraine, and reaffirmed the need to implement an immediate ceasefire,” Elysee said.

Macron also called on Putin to respect international humanitarian law, and allow aid shipments to reach the population, the statement said.

Russian soveregnty and Ukraine demilitarisation Putin told his French counterpart that the demilitarisation of Ukraine and Western recognition of Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula were prerequisites to ending fighting in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

“Vladimir Putin stressed that a settlement is possible only if Russia’s legitimate security interests are unconditionally taken into account, including the recognition of Russian sovereignty over Crimea, the demilitarisation and denazification of the Ukrainian state, and ensuring its neutral status,” according to a Kremlin readout of the call.

The call was the latest in a series of exchanges between both men in which Macron first sought to prevent the Russian invasion, and then to limit its damage.

Earlier this month, Macron went to Moscow to talk with Putin in person, returning to Paris with assurances of what he called Putin’s “desire to maintain stability and the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

After the latest conversation Monday, Macron suggested the two leaders remain in contact in the coming days “to prevent a worsening of the situation”, to which Putin agreed, the Elysee said.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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