Putin and Macron hold urgent talks over Ukrainian crisis


Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emanuel Macron discussed the need to speed up the search for diplomatic solutions to the escalating crisis in eastern Ukraine during a telephone conversation today, the Kremlin said late yesterday.

According to the Kremlin, Putin told Macron that the recent escalation was the result of the actions of the Kiev forces.

"The Russian president has pointed out that the provocations of Ukrainian forces are the reason for the escalation," the Kremlin said, adding that in a statement Putin had expressed "grave concern" to Macron over the escalation along the line of contact in eastern Ukraine.

President Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin disagreed  over who was responsible for the tension in eastern Ukraine, an adviser to the French presidency said.

Macron blamed Russian separatists in Donbass.

The French Presidency issued the following statement:

French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed in a telephone conversation today on the need to find a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis, the French presidency announced today.

The two leaders agreed today to do everything possible to quickly achieve a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

The foreign ministers of the two countries will meet in the coming days with this objective in mind and will work towards holding a possible summit at the highest level with Russia, Ukraine and allies in order to establish a new security order in Europe, the French presidency added.