French President Emmanuel Macron traveled to Moscow on Monday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in an attempt to deescalate the situation unfolding in Ukraine.
“I have always had a deep dialogue with President Putin and it is our responsibility to build historic solutions. There is, I think, an openness from President Putin to achieve this,” Macron stated, according to CNBC.
Macron said he hoped to “avoid a war” and that the talks were aimed at easing tensions and building “elements of confidence, stability and visibility for everyone,” BBC reported. (RELATED: ‘Enormous Human Cost’: Sullivan Warns Of Consequences Of War In Ukraine)
Putin said the two countries shared “common concern” about the security situation in Europe and thanked Macron for the visit.
“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,” Putin said, according to the New York Post.
French President Emmanuel Macron flies to Moscow in a risky diplomatic move, seeking commitments from Russian President Vladimir Putin to dial down tensions with Ukraine https://t.co/dlDoVgY8HH pic.twitter.com/BoaVtacfon
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 7, 2022
Macron, who has been advocating for European military autonomy for years, “wants to prioritize a European engagement strategy with Moscow — instead of a US-led one anchored in NATO,” according to CNBC.
The meeting between Putin and Macron occurred as President Joe Biden met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington, D.C., on Monday. Scholz succeeded Angela Merkel in December.
Unlike other NATO countries, Germany has failed to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. Until recently, the country was against allowing sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. (RELATED: US, Germany Agree To Allow Completion Of Russian Gas Pipeline)
This table that Macron and Putin sat at in Moscow today is comically large. pic.twitter.com/pR4yce9u7j
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) February 7, 2022
“The world is becoming more and more dangerous and Germany as the biggest European country and the strongest economic power cannot allow itself to stay neutral,” Andrij Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, told CNBC.
Macron described the meeting with Putin as the beginning of a “mutually acceptable … constructive arrangement” to “help us avoid war,” CNN reported.