French President Macron called his Russian counterpart Putin about the situation in eastern Ukraine. That conversation lasted for an hour and three-quarters of an hour.
Both countries reported that Macron and Putin failed to agree on who was responsible for the rising tension in eastern Ukraine. Macron blames Russia-backed separatists, and Putin blames Ukraine’s security forces.
Putin also criticized Western military support for Ukraine in the conversation. He also stressed the need for NATO to take Russia’s requirements for security guarantees seriously and respond to them concretely and accurately.
In the telephone conversation, the presidents stressed the need to continue the search for diplomatic solutions to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. According to France, they have agreed to hold a meeting tomorrow between Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). This has not been confirmed by the Russian side.
A phone call is also scheduled for tomorrow between Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and his French counterpart Le Drian.
Military training is not over
Meanwhile, Russian and Belarusian military exercises on the northern border of Ukraine continue. The exercises were expected to end today and the troops to leave, but Russia decided to stay longer due to the escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine.
In recent days, the situation in that region has deteriorated, especially along the front line in southeastern Ukraine. Fighting was reported this weekend by both the Ukrainian government’s army and Russian-backed separatists. The death of two people on both sides will be sad.
Today there was again news of military aggression. International news agencies are talking about hundreds of artillery shells being fired on the front line.
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