PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron is due to call his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday in an attempt to de-escalate the conflict with Ukraine, amid Western fears that Moscow may be planning an invasion.
Macron also sees the talks as an opportunity to see where exactly both of them stand in the current situation. He also hopes for clarification from the Russian side on some points.
Élysée sources also said that Macron wanted to emphasize once again that a Russian invasion would have serious consequences.
Western states have highly concerned that an invasion could be imminent, as 100,000 Russian troops are stationed near Ukraine's borders. Russia has repeatedly denied such plans.
The Ukraine conflict dates back to 2014, while a peace plan negotiated with the help of Germany and France has stalled.
On Wednesday, a meeting was held in Paris in the so-called Normandy format, including mediators from France and Germany as well as Ukraine and Russia. However, no substantial progress was made, according to German representatives.