France’s President Emmanuel Macron and his US counterpart Joe Biden agreed Tuesday on the need to verify Russian claims it was beginning to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border, the French presidency said.
In a phone conversation that lasted around an hour, the two presidents also underlined the importance of remaining “perfectly coordinated” in policy towards Russia under President Vladimir Putin, the Elysee added.
“A week after President Macron’s trip (to Moscow and then Kyiv), we see that we there is some reason to hope,” it said.
In the first announced withdrawal from among more than 100,000 troops Russia amassed on the Ukrainian border, the defence ministry in Moscow said some soldiers and hardware were returning to bases at the end of planned exercises.
The French presidency stressed that such a beginning of a “de-escalation movement would be in line” with what Putin had told Macron in their talks in Moscow last week.
“There is a dynamic that must be verified and consolidated”, the presidency said, adding that “everything is very fragile”.
It warned many outcomes are still possible “given the scale of the Russian military deployment” which “remains very impressive”.
It said that Macron would in the near future speak to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who himself visited Moscow Tuesday for talks with Putin.
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