Putin, Macron to hold call on Friday amid rising Russia-Ukraine tensions
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday that he hoped a phone call he is slated to hold with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday would bring about “demanding dialogue and obtain clarifications” amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.
Macron made the comments during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and ahead of talks on Wednesday between political advisers from France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, the news outlet noted.
The two emphasized during their joint press conference that Russia would face consequences if the country waged an invasion in Ukraine, underscoring their support for the Eastern European country.
The announcement of the call comes as Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, prompting international concern among the U.S and its NATO allies.
Russia has demanded that the military alliance reject Ukraine’s application to enter into NATO. However, NATO has rebuffed these demands. Russia in turn has amassed a significant military force at its border with Ukraine claiming unspecific safety concerns.
The U.S. and other countries have stated that they would like to resolve the tension diplomatically, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has traveled to Europe to speak with Russian counterparts.
NATO countries for their part have scrambled to support Ukraine in various ways including sending military forces near the area.
Russia on Tuesday announced new military exercises in response to fighter jets and ships being deployed by NATO to the region while the Pentagon on Monday announced that 8,500 troops were being readied in the event that it was necessary for their deployment.
But President Biden on Tuesday seemed to indicate otherwise, telling reporters “there is not going to be any American forces moving into Ukraine.”
He said it depended on “what Putin does or doesn’t do” over a question he was asked about what it might take to have those troops deployed.
“Everyone from Poland on has a reason to be concerned about what would happen and what spillover effects could occur,” the president said. “We have no intention of putting American forces or NATO forces in Ukraine. But … there are going to be serious economic consequences if he moves.”