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France’s Macron Flies to Moscow in High-Risk Diplomatic Mission

French leader meets Putin in Moscow before visit to Kyiv
France's Macron flies to Moscow in high-risk diplomatic mission
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (not pictured) hold joint news conference in Berlin, Germany January 25, 2022. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron flies to Moscow on Monday in a risky diplomatic move, seeking commitments from Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down tensions with Ukraine, where Western leaders fear the Kremlin plans an invasion.

Macron has made a frenetic series of phone calls with Western allies, Putin and the Ukrainian leader over the past week. He will follow up on Tuesday with a visit to Kyiv, staking a lot of political capital on a mission that could prove embarrassing if he returns empty-handed.

“We’re heading to Putin’s lair, in many ways it’s a throw of the dice,” one source close to Macron told Reuters.

Russia has massed some 100,000 troops near Ukraine and demanded NATO and U.S. security guarantees, including that NATO never admit Ukraine as a member.

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