France says Macron to speak to Biden, Scholz, Zelensky
French President Emmanuel Macron will speak to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the presidents of Ukraine and the United States Saturday as fears mount that Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, Macron’s office said.
Macron stressed during a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West would react with “determination” should Russia invade Ukraine, it added.
French presidential aides said Paris considered that Putin believed “that it was not he who took the initiative for the escalation”, but the West who approached the Russian border.
Putin’s goal was to achieve the “neutralisation of Ukraine. He knows that this is unacceptable (for the West) and that his military exercises carry a risk of additional escalation”, they said.
He remained demanding and provocative “taking care nevertheless to keep all his options open”, they added.
France would strengthen advice to its nationals to tell them to avoid travelling to Ukraine, but would not ask them to leave the country, the president’s office said.
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