Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia to ‘intensify’ diplomacy over Ukraine crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin said diplomatic efforts need to intensify to find a resolution to the Ukraine crisis, a signal Moscow may be ready to discuss ways to walk back the threat of war in Europe. After a call with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, Putin blamed NATO for “pumping modern weapons and ammunition” into Ukraine. The phone conversation came two weeks after Macron went to Moscow to persuade Putin to refrain from sending troops massed on the border into Ukraine. A Kremlin statement said Putin and Macron discussed the supply of weapons and ammunition by NATO countries to Ukraine, which the Kremlin said was pushing Kyiv towards a “military solution” against separatists in the country’s east. “As a result civilians … who have to evacuate to Russia to escape the intensifying shelling suffer,” the Kremlin said. It added: “The presidents believe it is important to intensify efforts to find solutions through diplomatic means.” (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/2/20/vladimir-putin-diplomacy-over-ukraine-crisis-must-intensify) Putin and Macron agreed these efforts should be carried out by foreign ministers and representatives from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, which make up the Normandy negotiations group.

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