France: Talks between Macron and Putin underway
Talks between Putin and Macron are underway amid last-ditch attempts to contain the Ukraine crisis, according to the French Presidency.
A planned telephone conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place today, according to a statement by the French Presidency.
The statement described the call as "the final possible and necessary efforts to avoid a major conflict in Ukraine." It comes a day after Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky told Macron during the Munich Security Conference that he would not respond to what he called Russia's "provocations".
However, Zelensky also called on Western governments during the conference to stop a "policy of appeasement" toward Russia.
"For eight years, Ukraine has been a shield. For eight years, Ukraine has been holding back one of the greatest armies in the world," Zelensky asserted.
After saying what he said about Russia, he proposed a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin aimed at averting a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine.
"I do not know what the Russian President wants. For this reason, I propose that we meet," Zelensky said after Russia underlined on several occasions that it wanted security guarantees that NATO would not expand eastward.
As Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of malice, Kyiv launched several offensives against the Donetsk People's Republic and Russia's Rostov.