French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Kyiv on Tuesday after offering Russia “concrete security guarantees” in an effort to dissuade Moscow from invading its neighbor Ukraine, with Russia’s leader vowing to find a compromise in response.
Macron’s visit comes during a week of intense Western diplomacy amid a major Russian military build-up on its southwestern frontier that has raised fears it could soon march into Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin told Macron Moscow would “do everything to find compromises that suit everyone,” raising the prospect of a path to de-escalating the volatile situation.
Putin said several proposals put forward by Macron at talks on Monday could form a basis for moving forward on the crisis over Ukraine. “A number of his ideas, proposals… are possible as a basis for further steps,” Putin said after more than five hours of talks.
He did not provide any details but said the two leaders would speak by phone after Macron meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Macron said he had made proposals of “concrete security guarantees” to Putin. “President Putin assured me of his readiness to engage in this sense and his desire to maintain stability and the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Macron said.
The French president added that the proposals include an engagement from both sides not to take any new military action, the launching of a new strategic dialogue and efforts to revive the peace process in Kyiv's conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Speaking after meeting with Putin, Macron said "We need to come to agreement on concrete measures in order to stabilize the situation and achieve de-escalation. We discussed this. This should be confirmed in the next few days and weeks."
With tensions rising between Moscow and Ukraine and its allies, Macron was the first top Western leader to meet Putin since the crisis began in December.
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