Putin, Macron agree on chances of Ukraine talks

Putin, Macron agree on chances of Ukraine talks”

The Russian president on Monday met with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on the Côte d'Azur - and he didn't come empty-handed.

A top diplomatic official at the French presidency said on customary condition of anonymity that the meeting aims to find "common ground" that would allow world powers to "converge on the essential".

But Putin said Russian Federation, which entered the conflict in 2015 in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, backed the Syrian army's operations in Idlib, which is the last major jihadist-run bastion in the war-torn country.

The Russian delegation includes his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, aide on worldwide affairs Yuri Ushakov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Speaking in a joint news conference before the meeting, Macron spoke of his hope that the election of Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, provides opportunity to relaunch negotiations in Russia's conflict with the country. The format involves France, Germany, Ukraine, and Russian Federation.

Macron has taken a lead role in trying to save the 2015 nuclear accord, which has been unraveling since Trump pulled the US out of the agreement.

"We would not want such a thing to happen in the Russian capital", Putin said, adding, "We will do everything to make sure the situation remains within the realms of the law".

"The main public issue will be reviving the Minsk accords", Baunov told AFP.

"I'm convinced that, in this multilateral restructuring, we must develop a security and trust architecture between the European Union and Russia", Macron wrote.

Macron and Putin also showed divergences on Syria.

In a landmark move, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe restored the credentials of Russia's delegation in June, five years after it was stripped of voting rights following Crimea's annexation. Moscow has been rocked by weekly protests for more than a month after the authorities barred opposition candidates from running in an election for the city's legislature in September.

Putin, 66, had a bouquet of similar-looking flowers waiting for the former schoolteacher when she and her husband visited St. Petersburg a year ago.

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