Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday Ukrainian “nationalists” in the embattled city of Mariupol must lay down their arms as he discussed the conflict with French leader Emmanuel Macron, the Kremlin said.
The two presidents spoke by phone after Russian and Ukrainian delegations held face-to-face talks in Istanbul more than a month after Putin sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine.
The Kremlin said the two leaders had discussed the results of the talks and the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.
“The president of Russia gave (Macron) detailed information about measures taken by the Russian military to provide emergency humanitarian assistance and ensure the safe evacuation of civilians, including from Mariupol” in southeastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said.
“It was stressed that in order to resolve the difficult humanitarian situation in this city, Ukrainian nationalist militants must stop resisting and lay down their arms,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders also discussed Russia’s demand to receive payment for gas deliveries to the European Union in Russian rubles.