Putin meets Macron to discuss Ukraine, European security

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Ukrainian crisis and the security issue in Europe.

The meeting was businesslike and useful, Putin on Monday said at a joint press conference with Macron following their hours-long talks in the Kremlin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Russia’s core concerns on security were ignored by the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), while the military alliance attempts to lecture Russia on where and how to place its armed forces, the Russian President added.

He told the French President that Kiev refuses to comply with the 2015 Minsk agreements on a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian issue and even aims to dismantle the deals.

Putin reiterated Russia’s opposition to NATO’s eastwards expansion.

During the briefing, Macron said that he believes there is still opportunity to find a peaceful path for Europe, where new mechanisms are needed to ensure security and existing pacts should be preserved at the same time.

He said that there is no alternative to a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis and the Minsk agreements remain the basis of it.

As for Moscow-proposed security guarantees between Russia and the US-led NATO, Macron said that negotiations should continue, although it won’t be easy to reach a consensus.

Putin and Macron agreed to talk over phone after the latter’s visit to Kiev on Tuesday.

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