Saturday, March 2

Putin briefed French and German leaders on Russia-Ukraine talks -Kremlin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the state of negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv and responded to their concerns about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine during a three-way phone call on Saturday, the Kremlin said.

The Kremlin did not elaborate on Putin’s comments about the state of talks, 17 days into the war that began when Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

On Friday, Putin said there had been “certain positive shifts” in the talks, which have been taking place in Belarus, but gave no details.

The Kremlin statement said Macron and Scholz raised questions about the humanitarian situation arising from what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine, and Putin responded with allegations of human rights abuses by Ukrainian forces. It did not cite evidence in support of those allegations.

The three leaders agreed to keep in contact, the Kremlin said. (Reporting by Reuters Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark Potter)