Paris (AFP) – February 19, 2022. 09:55
Ukraine .. continuous attempts to reduce the Russian escalation
- The West did not observe any withdrawal of Russian forces
- Cyber-attacks targeting Ukraine ‘sourced from Russia’
In a third attempt by the French president to “avoid the worst” in UkraineEmmanuel Macron speaks by phone, Sunday, with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, after a phone conversation, on Saturday, with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, according to what was announced by the Elysee.
The French presidency said: “Our duty is to avoid the worst (…) We believe that we still have the possibility to dissuade President Putin from moving forward towards attacking Ukraine“.
And the Elysee stressed the need to “try everything and do everything so that the worst does not happen,” warning of “the danger of a Russian invasion of the Ukrainian lands under the control of the Kiev government, and not only for those under the control of pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country.” Ukraine.
We believe we still have the possibility to dissuade President Putin from going on the offensive
Adviser to the French President
Following a conversation between the leaders and heads of government of the most prominent Western countries, an adviser to the French president said: “We believe that we still have the possibility to dissuade President Putin from moving forward on the offensive.”
In addition to Macron, the call brought together US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Union Council President Charles Michel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Polish President Andrzej Duda and his Romanian counterpart Klaus Iohannis.
The Elysee stressed that “we must try everything to avoid a confrontation that will destabilize the security of the European continent, Russia and our European partners, and will put us in another geostrategic situation if Russia invades Ukraine.”
The Westerners did not detect any withdrawal of the Russian forces massed on the border, contrary to what Russia announced in recent days
The French presidency stressed that the Westerners had not observed “any withdrawal of Russian forces” massed on the border, contrary to what Russia announced in recent days.
The Elysee considered that Putin’s visit to Belarus on Saturday, where Russian and Belarusian forces continue to conduct joint maneuvers, “is an indication of an escalation, not a calm.”
Paris joined Washington and London in declaring they had “no doubt” that the cyber attacks on Ukraine this week “originated from Russia”.