French President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart Joe Biden agreed Tuesday on the need to verify Russian claims that it had begun withdrawing troops from the Ukrainian border, the French presidency said.
In a phone call that lasted about an hour, the two presidents also underlined the importance of remaining “perfectly coordinated” in policy toward Russia under President Vladimir Putin, the Elysee added.
“A week after President Macron’s trip (to Moscow and then Kiev), we see that we have some reason to hope,” he said.
In the first announced withdrawal of more than 100,000 troops gathered by Russia on the Ukrainian border, the Defense Ministry in Moscow said some soldiers and hardware were returning to bases at the end of scheduled exercises.
The French presidency stressed that such a start of a “de-escalation movement” would be in line with what Putin told Moscow during their talks in Moscow last week.
“There is a dynamic that needs to be verified and consolidated,” the presidency said, adding that “everything is very fragile”.
It warned that many results are still possible “given the magnitude of Russia’s military commitment”, which “remains very impressive”.
It said Macron would speak in the near future with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who himself visited Moscow on Tuesday for talks with Putin.
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