Germany, France call on Putin to hold ‘serious’ negotiations with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to have “serious direct negotiations” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in order to reach “a diplomatic solution” to the war. Scholz’s office stated that the request was made during a telephone call between the three leaders.
According to Moscow, Putin told Macron and Scholz that increasing military supplies to Ukraine risks “further destabilizing” the conflict.
Macron, Scholz insisted on an immediate ceasefire with the withdrawal of Russian troops, according to the chancellor’s office.
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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged Russia President Vladimir Putin to engage in direct negotiations with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskyy.
Putin said Moscow was open to resuming negotiations with Kyiv, according to the Kremlin, which did not state whether the Russian leader would engage in direct talks with Zelenskyy.
The Ukrainian president previously said he was not “eager” for dialogue with Russia, but noted that such conversations would likely have to happen for the war to end.
Russian, Ukrainian delegations have had multiple discussions since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. However, negotiations have stalled recently.
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks out about the future for NATO.
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Macron and Scholz also called on Putin to release 2,500 Ukrainian fighters taken as prisoners of war at the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol, Ukraine.
Moscow officials stated earlier this month, that the last fighters to defend the factory had surrendered. Zelenskyy claimed that they were allowed to leave.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a speech about the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
( AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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Russia previously claimed that more than 900 of the Ukrainian fighters were transported to a reopened prison colony in Russian-occupied Donetsk. Some of them who had endured serious injuries were taken to a hospital. Ukraine wants to release the fighters as part a prisoner trade, but Russia has not confirmed this and some Russian officials argue that the fighters should either be tried or executed.
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