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Macron: Putin Told Him Russia Won’t Escalate Ukraine Crisis

At a news conference after meeting Zelenskyy, Macron said Putin told him during their more than five-hour session Monday that “he won’t be initiating an escalation. I think it is important.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, winks as he shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after a joint news conference following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Diplomatic efforts to defuse the tensions around Ukraine continued on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron arriving in Kyiv the day after hours of talks with the Russian leader in Moscow yielded no apparent breakthroughs. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, winks as he shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after a joint news conference following their talks in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. Diplomatic efforts to defuse the tensions around Ukraine continued on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron arriving in Kyiv the day after hours of talks with the Russian leader in Moscow yielded no apparent breakthroughs. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him that Moscow would not further escalate the Ukraine crisis.

Macron also said it would take time to find a diplomatic solution to the rising tensions, which represent the biggest security crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

His remarks on a visit to Kyiv came as the Kremlin denied reports that he and Putin struck a deal on de-escalating the crisis. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “in the current situation, Moscow and Paris can’t be reaching any deals.”

Macron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy amid mounting fears of a Russian invasion. Moscow has massed over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but insists it has no plans to attack.

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