Putin, Macron discuss Moscow's operation in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the issue of Ukraine and Moscow's operation in Donbass.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin discussed on Thursday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.
The call was "frank", as per Moscow, and it comes after Russian leader Vladimir Putin authorized a special military operation in Donbass in light of the successive Ukrainian attacks on the region.
The leaders had a "serious and frank exchange of views" about Ukraine and Putin gave an "exhaustive explanation of the reasons and circumstances behind the decision to conduct a special military operation" there, a readout said.
The call was initiated by Paris, and the Elysee Palace said Macron called his Russian counterpart to demand an end to Russia's "offensive" in Ukraine.
"After having spoken with the Ukrainian president, and in coordination with him, [Macron] called Vladimir Putin to demand the immediate halt of Russian military operations," the presidential palace said while Macron attended an EU summit in the Belgian capital.
Russia risked massive sanctions, the Elysee said as the West bombarded the federation with sanctions over its operation in Donbass.
This was the first known contact between Putin and a Western leader since the operation began.
The German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy announced that the certification process for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was stopped after being temporarily halted by the Federal Grid Agency in November 2021.
Nord Stream 2 had become a Western tool to pressure Russia in the Ukraine crisis, but Europe cannot turn its back on Moscow due to its dependency on the federation for energy.
US President Joe Biden also played the sanctions card against Russia another time during a White House press conference amid tensions between Washington and Moscow over the former's intention to expand its NATO alliance eastward through Ukraine.
Moscow's military operation in Ukraine is not a beginning of a war, but rather an attempt at curbing a global one, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said following Western condemnations of Moscow's operations.
Russia has for months been warning of the threat posed against it by NATO's attempts to expand eastward, which happened simultaneously with an increase in NATO military activity along Russia's borders, and batches of lethal weapons being sent to Ukraine, prompting Russia to request security guarantees from the West. Washington failed to provide the guarantees.
The consecutive western sanctions on the Russian federation come after President Vladimir Putin authorized a special military operation in Donbass on Thursday morning, citing neo-Nazi NATO allies moving closer to his nation's border.