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Ukraine crisis: Will Putin stand by his word to Macron? What was said during crunch talks?

This week, France’s President Emmanuel Macron has been touring national capitals, including Moscow, on a diplomatic basis in an attempt to find a solution to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The discussions came after fears that Russia was looking to launch a full-scale invasion of its ex-Soviet neighbour, having positioned more than 100,000 soldiers on the border.

What did Mr Macron say?

France’s incumbent leader told reporters: “I secured an assurance there would be no deterioration or escalation.”

The 44-year-old made the comments before holding a meeting with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Tuesday.

During the previous day, Mr Macron and Mr Putin had been locked in discussions for almost six hours in the Russian capital of Moscow.

READ MORE: Russian Navy fleet enters English Channel – into path of NATO vessel

Following his talks with Mr Zelenksy, both leaders participated in a news conference where Mr Macron said there was now the chance to “make these negotiations move forward” between Russia and Ukraine.

He added that he could see “concrete solutions” to reducing tensions.

Meanwhile, Mr Zelensky adopted a more cautious approach, instead urging Russia to take significant measures to reduce tensions.

He said: “I do not really trust words, I believe that every politician can be transparent by taking concrete steps.”

What’s the latest developments?

On Monday, US President Joe Biden and Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz met in Washington to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

Mr Biden threatened to shut down a key Russian gas pipeline – Nord Stream Two – to Germany if it launched an attack.

Russia previously demanded that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) halt its movements in eastern Europe, after expressing security concerns against Nato expansion towards its border.

However, before the end of January, the US rejected the Kremlin’s proposals, leaving diplomatic talks at a stalemate.

Daily Express

The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918.

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