When they speak on the phone on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron will try to determine whether Russian President Vladimir Putin wants “consultations or confrontation” over Ukraine, according to France’s foreign minister.
The news: Moscow has amassed forces near Ukraine and is seeking security assurances from the West, including a guarantee that NATO will never admit Russia’s former Soviet ally.
- French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told RTL radio that the West still believed discussion was possible, but that the ball was in Putin’s court.
- Macron has sought engagement with Putin throughout his five years as president of France, much to the chagrin of his European Union colleagues.
- Western countries are concerned that Russia may invade Ukraine, despite Russia’s denials. Macron stated on Tuesday that he will seek explanation from Russia regarding its goals in Ukraine.
- Weeks of talks between the West and Moscow have yielded few achievements, but both parties have left the door open to more discussions, despite Russia’s assertion on Thursday that the US was clearly unwilling to address its key security concerns.