Sunday, March 26

Macron calls Putin and Zelensky to try to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in a new attempt to maintain diplomatic channels to prevent the situation between Russia and Ukraine from deteriorating, held telephone conversations this Sunday with the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and with the Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky, with whom he also spoke on Saturday. The conversation with Putin began at 10:00 GMT and lasted one hour and 45 minutes. Right after, as indicated by the Elysee, he called Zelenski again, something that was not initially planned.

After the conversation between the French president and Putin, both leaders have reached the conclusion that the diplomatic contacts in the Normandy Format (Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France) will contribute to the reestablishment of the ceasefire and will allow progress in the settlement of the conflict in Donbas.

The head of the Kremlin has indicated in a statement that the cause of the current escalation is the provocations of the Ukrainian security forces. He has also pointed to the supply of modern weapons to Ukraine by NATO countries, as according to Putin, this can push Kiev to resolve the conflict in Donbas through force.

Recent diplomatic efforts

From the French Presidency it has been communicated that Macron is making “the last possible and necessary efforts to avoid a major conflict”, because “the risk of falling into a spiral of violence is currently very high”.

Russia and Belarus have made the decision to extend the inspection time of their joint forces beyond this Sunday, when the Allied Determination 2022 military exercises were scheduled to end. Sources from the Elysee have stated that Macron does not rule out going to Moscow again and Kiev to try to lower the tension, which in recent days has risen considerably.

Zelensky on Saturday called for a UN Security Council meeting in view of the military escalation around Ukraine, as well as greater engagement from the international community and a review of the current global security architecture. In his first conversation this weekend with Macron, he conveyed to the French head of state his willingness not to respond to Russian “provocations” and asked him to tell Putin that he remains open to dialogue.