Macron Meets With Putin in Moscow, Seeks to ‘Avoid War’

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In a bid to avert a conflict in Ukraine, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 7.

During the meeting, Macron told Putin that he’s seeking a “useful” response “that, of course, allows us to avoid war and to build bricks of trust, stability, [and] visibility.”

Putin said Russia and France share “a common concern about what is happening in the security sphere in Europe.”

“I see how much efforts the current leadership of France and the president personally is applying in order to solve the crisis related to providing equal security in Europe for a serious historical perspective,” he said.

The talks come as Russia has amassed thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine and is also reportedly carrying out war drills in Belarus in what Russian officials say is a routine exercise.

Over the past weekend, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told several TV programs on the morning of Feb. 6 that he believes that Russia will invade Ukraine in the coming days.

“If war breaks out, it will come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine, but we believe that based on our preparations and our response, it will come at a strategic cost to Russia as well,” Sullivan said.

Russia has denied that it wants to invade Ukraine.

Also on Feb. 7, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, ahead of his first meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, told the Washington Post that should Russia invade its neighbor, the Kremlin will pay a hefty price.

“We are ready to take together with our allies all necessary steps,” Scholz said in response to speculation that Germany could cancel the Russia-to-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “It is absolutely clear that in a situation like this all options are on the table. Please understand that I will not get into any specifics, but our answer will be united and decisive.”

By Jack Phillips

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