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In Macron’s call, Putin did not indicate that he was preparing to invade – official of the French presidency

In Macron's call, Putin did not indicate that he was preparing to invade - official of the French presidency

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Moscow, Russia, February 7, 2022. Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters/File photo

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PARIS (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin did not indicate in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday that he was preparing to invade Ukraine, a French presidential official said.

The two leaders spoke at a time of heightened tension over Russia’s buildup of troops near the Ukrainian border, with Washington saying on Friday that Moscow could invade at any moment. Russia denied it was planning an invasion.

“We see no sign of what President Putin is saying he will continue to attack,” the official told reporters after Macron and Putin spoke by phone for about 90 minutes.

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“However, we are very vigilant and cautious about the Russian (military) situation in order to avoid the worst,” he added.

Separately, the Kremlin said that during the call with Macron, Putin highlighted “the lack of a substantive response from the United States and NATO to known Russian initiatives.” This points to a series of Russian security demands, including preventing Ukraine from joining NATO.

The Kremlin said Putin and Macron also discussed the situation regarding “provocative speculation” about an alleged alleged Russian invasion.

The Elysee official said France had recommended that the French avoid traveling to Ukraine, and that preparations would be made for embassy staff and their families to leave the country if they wanted to.

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The official said the French ambassador would review the situation for about 1,000 French nationals in the country, many of whom hold dual French and Ukrainian nationalities. The United States and several other countries have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine amid fears of an invasion.

Macron visited Moscow earlier this week, and then in their invitation on Saturday the two discussed ways to move forward with the implementation of the Minsk Accords to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, as well as conditions for security and stability in Europe. a permit.

Macron also spoke on Saturday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and was scheduled to speak with US President Joe Biden.

In the call with Zelensky, Macron reiterated his support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Elysee said.

Schulz is due to visit Kiev on Monday, followed by Moscow on Tuesday, and the Elysee said the French and German positions were “completely in agreement”.

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(covering) Lee Thomas (Additional reporting) by Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow, Pavel Politiuk in Kiev and Andreas Reinke in Berlin Editing by Richard Love, Angus McSwan and Francis Kerry

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