Russian-Ukrainian crisis and Macron news: live updates

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Credit…Ukrainian Presidency, via Associated Press

KYIV, Ukraine — The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed the idea that French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin had made significant progress in defusing the Ukraine crisis during their high-risk meeting in Moscow.

Statements by Russian leaders appeared to undermine French diplomatic authority, and even credibility, just as Mr Macron arrived in Ukraine to continue his shuttle diplomacy, with 130,000 Russian troops just outside Ukraine and the White House warning that an attack on Ukraine could be imminent.

Even before Mr. Macron’s plane landed in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, Dmitry S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, dismissed reports that the two presidents had reached a de-escalation agreement, suggesting that it was the United States, and not France, which had standing to negotiate such an agreement.

“In the current situation, Moscow and Paris could not reach an agreement. France is a member of the EU and NATO,” he said, adding: “France does not lead NATO “.

He also disputed reports citing French officials saying that Mr Macron had left Moscow with pledges that Russian troops would not remain in neighboring Belarus after the end of military exercises this month, and that Russia would not conduct any new military maneuver nearby. Ukraine in the near future.

The deployment to Ukraine was always intended to be temporary, but Russia made no promises as to when it would end, Peskov said. He declined to comment on the report on the new maneuvers, but Russia said on Tuesday that elements of its navy had been sent to Black Sea waters near Ukraine.





Border with Russian units

Transnistria, a

supported by Russia

separatist region

from Moldova.

Russia invaded and

annexed Crimea

Peninsula of

Ukraine in 2014.

approximate line

separating Ukrainian and

Russian-backed forces near

two breakaway provinces.

border with

Russian units

Russia annexed

Crimea

Peninsula of

Ukraine in 2014.

Transnistria, a

supported by Russia

separatist region

from Moldova.

approximate line

separating Ukrainian

and supported by Russia

forces.


Mr. Putin and Mr. Macron held a five-hour one-on-one meeting in the Kremlin on Monday evening, followed by a joint press conference that took place well after midnight. Mr Putin wavered between ominous and something bordering on optimism, keeping his comments vague enough to keep the world guessing.

“A number of his ideas or proposals – which are probably too early to talk about – seem to me rather feasible to create a basis for our next steps,” he said of Mr Macron. But he also warned of a war with NATO if Ukraine joined the alliance, and did not rule out an invasion, although the Kremlin insisted it did not have one. ‘intention.

In Kiev on Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr Macron said: “We should not underestimate the tension surrounding the situation we are experiencing, its unprecedented nature. I do not believe that this crisis can be resolved through a few hours of discussions.

Mr. Peskov said that Mr. Putin was ready to continue negotiating on Russia’s security demands in Eastern Europe, but added: “So far, we do not see or feel the will of our Western counterparts to take our concerns into account. The United States and NATO have flatly rejected Russian demands to halt the bloc’s expansion into parts of Eastern Europe that Moscow considers part of its sphere of influence.

Macron stressed that addressing Russia’s concerns about NATO and its presence in Eastern Europe was only half of the diplomatic approach he was pursuing. The other, to deal with the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in two breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine through the so-called Normandy format, showed more promising signs. Negotiators from France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia are expected to meet again in Berlin this week to continue working out disagreements over the terms of a 2015 ceasefire.

Mr Zelensky said he viewed the upcoming Berlin meeting positively, although he had yet to see any indication that Russia was willing to end its occupation of Crimea, the peninsula that Russia s seized during an invasion in 2014, and to withdraw Russian troops from eastern Ukraine. region known as Donbass. Ukraine has said a Russian withdrawal is a precondition for any deal.

Christi C. Elwood