Despite diplomatic efforts failing, their contact means that Macron is one of the few outsiders with an insight into Putin’s mindset, AP reports.
On March 6 Macron spoke to both Putin and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Macron tweeted: “We are striving to preserve the integrity of Ukraine's civilian nuclear plants, in addition to other priority demands we presented to Russia: a ceasefire and the protection of civilians.”
State-owned news agency Tass reports that Putin and Macron have had 14 contacts since December.
Pictures taken from an 18th February and a 4th of March call have been doing the rounds on Twitter. Snapped by photographer Soazig de la Moissonnière, the pictures show the French president in a visibly anxious state.
The \u00c9lys\u00e9e Palace released images of French President Macron after his call with Putin today, regarding the invasion of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/I1uOgNMuma
It followed claims that humanitarian corridors that led to Belarus or Russia were approved after a “personal request” from Macron, but a spokesperson for the Elysee denied this. The spokesperson said that “the president of the republic has neither asked for nor obtained corridors to Russia after his conversation with Putin.”
An Elysee source told BFMTV that Macron asked Putin “to let the civilian populations leave and to allow the delivery of aid.”
They added: “It’s another way for Putin to push his narrative and say that it is the Ukrainians who are the aggressors and they are the ones who offer asylum to everyone.”
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