| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Macron, Biden agree verification needed of Russian pullback: France

According to the French presidency, President Emmanuel Macron and his US colleague Joe Biden agreed on the importance of verifying Russian assertions that it was beginning to evacuate soldiers from the Ukrainian border on Tuesday.

The two presidents also stressed the significance of keeping “completely aligned” in policy toward Russia under President Vladimir Putin during a phone call that lasted almost an hour, according to the Elysee.

“We feel that there is some reason to hope a week after President Macron’s trip [to Moscow and then Kyiv],” it stated.

The defense ministry in Moscow said some soldiers and equipment were returning to bases at the completion of planned exercises, marking the first public retreat from among Russia’s more than 100,000 troops stationed near the Ukrainian border.

According to the French president, such a start to a “de-escalation movement” would be “in accordance” with what Putin informed Macron during their meeting in Moscow last week.

“There is a dynamic that needs to be verified and consolidated,” the White House stated, adding that “everything is very delicate.”

It warned that “considering the extent of the Russian military deployment,” which “remains highly impressive,” a variety of consequences are still possible.

Macron would speak with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the near future, according to the report, who was in Moscow on Tuesday for meetings with Putin.

  • AFP