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French and German leaders ask Putin for “direct and serious negotiations” with Zelensky

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron urged the head of state on Saturday Russian Vladimir Putin to undertake “direct and serious negotiations” with the president ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky.

In a tripartite telephone conversation that lasted 80 minutes, the two European leaders “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops,” the German government said in a statement.

Macron and Scholz “urged the Russian president for direct and serious negotiations with the Ukrainian president and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

However, the Russian president denounced the “danger” represented by the deliveries of weapons from Western countries to Ukraine and warned of the risk of a future “destabilization” of the situation and an “aggravation of the humanitarian crisis”.

The conversation was held at the request of Macron and Scholz, according to the German government, and focused on “the continuation of the Russian war against Ukraine and efforts to end it.”

The German chancellor and the French president also “asked the Russian president to improve the humanitarian situation of the civilian population.”

The two Western leaders “took positive note of the Russian president’s commitment to treat captured fighters in accordance with international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention, and to ensure unhindered access to the International Committee of the Red Cross.” .

But Macron and Scholz also asked Putin to release the 2,500 Ukrainian fighters who barricaded themselves in the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol (south), and were taken prisoner by the Russians.

“The world food situation, particularly tense due to the war”, was also addressed during the debate.

“President Putin assured that he wants to allow the export of cereals from Ukraine, especially by sea,” says the Foreign Ministry.

The Russian president promised “that Russia will not take advantage of the opening of the mine belt established to protect Ukrainian ports, in order to allow the export of grain by ship, to carry out offensive actions,” says the German chancellery, noting that the three leaders agreed on the “central role” that the United Nations must play in guaranteeing exports.

In short, according to the Kremlin, Putin confirmed that Russia is “open to a resumption of dialogue” with kyiv to resolve the armed conflict. Peace negotiations have been deadlocked since March, the Russian presidency said.

Source: Elcomercio

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