Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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Vladimir Putin told me that Russia won’t escalate Ukraine crisis: French President Emmanuel Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that Moscow would not further escalate the Ukraine crisis.

Macron also said it would take time to find a diplomatic solution to the rising tensions, which represent the biggest security crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

His remarks on a visit to Kyiv came as the Kremlin denied reports that he and Putin struck a deal on de-escalating the crisis. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “in the current situation, Moscow and Paris can’t be reaching any deals.”

Macron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion. Moscow has massed over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but insists it has no plans to attack.

The Kremlin wants guarantees from the West that NATO will not accept Ukraine and other former Soviet nations as members, that it halt weapon deployments there and roll back its forces from Eastern Europe- demands the U.S. and NATO reject as nonstarters.

At a news conference after meeting Zelenskyy, Macron said Putin told him during their more than five-hour session Monday that “he won’t be initiating an escalation. I think it is important.”

According to the French president, Putin also said there won’t be any Russian “permanent (military) base” or “deployment” in Belarus, where Russia had sent a large number of troops for war games.

Peskov said withdrawing Russian troops from Belarus after the maneuvers was the plan all along.

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