The presidents continued their frank exchange of views on the situation regarding Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin commented in detail on President Macron’s Address to the Nation on the Ukraine War, which he delivered yesterday, disputing many of the points. Thus, Emmanuel Macron described Russia’s statements about fighting Nazism in Ukraine as “lies.” In this connection, the President of Russia provided a well-corroborated explanation regarding the neo-Nazis’ substantial role in the state policy of Kiev. He pointed out that during the special operation to defend Donbass, Russia intends to continue its uncompromising struggle against the militants of the nationalist armed units, who are committing military crimes, including by deploying military equipment in residential areas and using civilians as human shields.
The President of Russia noted that Emmanuel Macron had not mentioned in his address that the Ukrainian leadership had sabotaged the Minsk agreements for the past seven years, or that the Western countries, including France, had done absolutely nothing to make Kiev implement them. Moreover, they had closed their eyes to years of genocide against peaceful civilians in Donbass, which led to numerous casualties and forced hundreds of thousands of people to seek asylum in Russia.
Vladimir Putin put forth the details of Russia’s principled approach and terms in the context of talks with the representatives of Kiev. He reaffirmed that Russia’s priority goals were demilitarisation and a neutral status for Ukraine, so that it would never pose a threat to the Russian Federation.
It was emphasised that the goals of the special military operation would be attained in any case, and that any attempts to play for time by drawing out talks would only result in additional demands to Kiev being included in Russia’s negotiating stance.
Another point the President of Russia emphasised was that the Russian Armed Forces involved in the special operation, which is proceeding according to plan, are doing their utmost to save civilian lives. They are using precision weapons to destroy exclusively military infrastructure. The allegations about missile and bomb attacks on Kiev and other Ukrainian cities are untrue and are elements of the anti-Russia disinformation campaign.
Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Russia’s readiness for cooperation with its foreign partners to address acute humanitarian problems. He urged the President of France to join the efforts to ensure the safe evacuation of foreign nationals from Ukraine. He mentioned, for example, the large group of Indian students in Kharkov, whom the Ukrainian security services have taken hostage. Emmanuel Macron promised to take the issue up with the Kiev leadership.
It was agreed to continue contacts at various levels on the issues raised during the conversation.