Biden and Macron speak ahead of Macron’s Moscow and Kyiv visits

7 February 2022, 01:39 PM

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron on the phone on Feb. 6, ahead of Macron’s planned visits to Moscow and Kyiv, in continuing diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border, reads a statement released by the White House on Feb. 6.

The leaders discussed ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders, and affirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement reads.

Macron is to visit Moscow on Feb. 7 and Kyiv on Feb. 8, as part of the French leader’s plans negotiate a compromise between the two sides as Russian military assets continue to stream into areas near the Ukrainian border. The French President earlier expressed his certainty that the talks in Moscow will help avert a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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According to Macron, European powers need to find “a new balance” in matters of European security, while respecting Russian interests.

Since the end of Oct. 2021, Russia has been massing troops to the Ukrainian borders. Russia has since deployed more than 130,000 troops and offensive weapons near the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories, according to the latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

International media have speculated that Russia may invade Ukraine in early 2022, in an operation that could involve up to 200,000 Russian soldiers.

The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.

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