Russian President Vladimir Putin was urged on Friday by France’s President Emmanuel Macron to allow humanitarian aid into Mariupol and to order an immediate ceasefire. Macron spoke with Putin for about 70 minutes.
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Olaf Scholz and Putin spoke earlier today. Scholz asked Putin to immediately declare a ceasefire. France President Emmanuel Macron has yet again expressed concern over the attacks on civilians in Ukraine and Russia‘s violation of human rights, according to the Elysee Palace, the country’s presidential office. President Putin’s office responded by saying the war was caused by Ukraine.
Meeting the representatives of Ukraine: Russia’s progress
There is a close agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations on neutrality, according to the Russian delegation. Chairman of the Russian delegation that discussed Ukraine’s NATO membership attempt, Vladimir Medinsky, said the two sides were working toward resolving their differences. Medinsky was quoted as saying: “The neutral status of Ukraine and its distance from NATO are key issues in our discussions, and both sides are moving closer together.”
The demilitarization of Ukraine is now “nearly halfway” complete, he said. Medinsky pointed out that Kiev wants to bring under its control Ukraine’s Russia-backed eastern separatist region, while Russia believes the people in the region need to decide their fate for themselves.