Crisis in Ukraine: after his meeting with Putin, Macron says he has obtained “that there is no degradation and escalation”

What there is to know

Emmanuel Macron continues his diplomatic tour. The French president is going to Kiev on Tuesday February 8 to meet his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky. The day before, the head of state was in Moscow, where he presented Vladimir Putin with his proposals for defusing the Ukrainian crisis. Namely: a commitment not to take new military initiatives on both sides, the start of a dialogue, in particular on the Russian military system or even peace negotiations on the conflict in Ukraine and the start of a strategic dialogue, according to the French presidency.

“I obtained that there is no degradation and escalation”, Emmanuel Macron told reporters on the presidential plane. “It was for me to block the game to prevent an escalation and open new perspectives (…) This objective for me is fulfilled”, he said the day after his meeting with Vladimir Putin. “France has consolidated a credibility“, he added.

Westerners, who fear an invasion of Ukraine, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers being deployed on the Ukrainian border, are stepping up efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The “bases of common progress” with Putin. After more than five hours of discussion, the Russian president said on Monday that “some of the ideas” of its French counterpart could “laying the foundations for common progress”, assuring that he will speak to the French head of state again after his trip to Kiev. “President Putin assured me of his readiness to commit to this logic and of his desire to maintain the stability and territorial integrity of Ukraine”, said for his part Emmanuel Macron.

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After Kyiv, Macron in Berlin. President will then meet in Berlin with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, himself just returned from Washington as part of a series of European diplomatic efforts this week and next.

Threats of sanctions. Americans and Europeans alike warned Russia that a new Russian attack on Ukraine would have terrible consequences for Russia, with the adoption of devastating sanctions. United States and Germany are “absolutely united” on the sanctions to be imposed on Russia if it ever attacked, and the two countries would take “the same measures”, assured Olaf Scholz in Washington on Monday. The US president for his part promised that an attack would mean “the end” of the strategic but controversial Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2.

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