No progress seen after Macron-Putin talks

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As for Moscow-proposed security guarantees between Russia and the US-led NATO, Macron said that negotiations should continue, although it won’t be easy to reach a consensus….reports Asian Lite News

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the Ukrainian crisis and the security issue in Europe.

The meeting was businesslike and useful, Putin on Monday said at a joint press conference with Macron following their hours-long talks in the Kremlin, Xinhua news agency reported.

Russia’s core concerns on security were ignored by the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), while the military alliance attempts to lecture Russia on where and how to place its armed forces, the Russian President added.

He told the French President that Kiev refuses to comply with the 2015 Minsk agreements on a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian issue and even aims to dismantle the deals.

Putin reiterated Russia’s opposition to NATO’s eastwards expansion.

During the briefing, Macron said that he believes there is still opportunity to find a peaceful path for Europe, where new mechanisms are needed to ensure security and existing pacts should be preserved at the same time.

He said that there is no alternative to a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis and the Minsk agreements remain the basis of it.

As for Moscow-proposed security guarantees between Russia and the US-led NATO, Macron said that negotiations should continue, although it won’t be easy to reach a consensus.

‘NATO pumping arms into Ukraine’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that NATO members continued to pump Ukraine with weapons, this issue was discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron.

“NATO member countries continue to pump up Ukraine with modern types of weapons, allocate significant financial resources for the modernization of the Ukrainian army. They send military specialists and instructors,” Putin said at a press conference following the Russian-French talks.

“Of course, we talked about everything with the president, as you can see, for quite a long time, there was a discussion for almost six hours,” Putin added.

“Of course, for my part, I drew Mr. President’s attention to the unwillingness of the current Kiev authorities to comply with the obligations under the Minsk package of measures and agreements in the Normandy format, including those reached at the summits,” Putin said.

Kiev headed for the dismantling of the Minsk agreements, he said.

“In my opinion, it is obvious to everyone that the current authorities in Kiev have set a course to dismantle the Minsk agreements. There is no progress on such fundamental issues as constitutional reform, amnesty, local elections, legal aspects of the special status of Donbas. The well-known — at least for experts — Steinmeier formula is still not enshrined in the Ukrainian legislation,” Putin said.

Putin expressed hope that Macron would discuss in Kiev issues raised on Monday during the Russian-French talks.

“We hope that Mr President, at least as he said today, intends to discuss tomorrow at a meeting with the Kiev leadership the issues of guarantees and ensuring security and stability in Europe within the Ukrainian settlement,” Putin said.

A number of Macron’s ideas can well be used as the basis for further steps on Ukraine, Putin said.

“A number of his ideas, proposals, which it is still too early to talk about, nevertheless, I think, are quite possible in order to make them the basis for our further joint steps,” Putin said.

Putin believes that Macron “will have a hard time” in negotiations with the leadership of Ukraine on Tuesday in Kiev.

“This is a complex set [of questions], that’s why we talked for so many hours, and tomorrow, to Mr President, I understand that there are no easy questions there, he will have a hard time in Kiev either. But we agreed that after consultations we will also get in touch with the leadership of Ukraine and get some kind of feedback on what the Ukrainian leadership today considers acceptable for itself, what is unacceptable, how it is going to move. And depending on this, we will build our own steps further,” Putin said.

Putin said that after Macron’s visit to Kiev, they would still call each other.

“Let’s see how the meeting of Mr President in Kiev goes, we agreed that after his trip to the capital of Ukraine, we will still call each other and exchange views on this matter,” Putin said.

On Tuesday, Macron plans to visit Kiev for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (ANI/Sputnik)

‘Russia has nothing to do with companies operate in Mali’

Russia has nothing to do with companies that operate in Mali, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Putin on Monday held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron. At a press conference following the talks, Putin said he had discussed the situation in Mali with Macron.

“Mr President knows our position. The Russian state has nothing to do with those companies that operate in Mali. As far as we know, the Mali leadership has not made any comments about the commercial activities of these companies,” the Russian president said.

“The Russian state has nothing to do with this. There are commercial interests of our companies there, they negotiate with the local leadership. We will take a closer look at this, but we have nothing to do with this,” Putin said.

“Regarding (the) Wagner (private military company). I said that the Russian state has nothing to do with this. I am saying it with complete responsibility. They are negotiating, and the local authorities invite them at the state level, thank them for the work done, and so on,” the Russian leader said.

Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations of Russia’s military presence in various African countries. In particular, the Kremlin stated that there were no representatives of the Russian armed forces on the territory of Mali. Russia has also repeatedly stated that the country’s authorities have nothing to do with the work of private security companies. (ANI/Sputnik)

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