President Putin and President Macron agree on measures to stem the escalation in the Ukraine
In separate statements, Macron's office and the Kremlin both said that the two leaders had reached agreement on the need for a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.
As a result of the urgency of the situation, the leaders of the Normandy format acknowledged that diplomatic means were needed to search for solutions. They said that foreign ministries and political advisers to the leaders of the Normandy format should intensify their efforts in order "to facilitate the restoration of the ceasefire regime and ensure progress in the settlement of the conflict in Donbas."
According to French media reports, Jean-Yves Le Drian will meet with Sergei Lavrov in the coming days.
In addition to talking with Macron for more than 100 minutes, Putin said that NATO countries are sending "modern weapons and ammunition to Ukraine" and believed such actions encourage Kyiv to find a military solution to the Donbas issue.
In a phone call between Putin and Macron, the Belarus defense minister said that Russia and Belarus will extend military drills which were supposed to end on Sunday. In addition, two breakaway republics have announced that they are evacuating civilians to Russia, amid reports of heavy shelling and military activity in the Donbas.
In recent days, Russia and Ukraine have both accused one another of escalating the conflict. In the meantime, the United States and many European nations claim that Russia is preparing to launch an attack on Ukraine with around 150,000 troops stationed near the border.
20 Feb 2022