Russian-French Talks



On February 7, an official meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place in Moscow. Political leaders, in particular, touched upon the topic of Ukraine. The talks between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, which lasted about six hours, ended with a very detailed press conference. It still inspires certain hopes that the dialogue on common European security guarantees will still bring some constructive results.

The main thing in the negotiations between the presidents of Russia and France:

  • countries have different views, especially on relations with NATO, but there are common ground;
  • Putin assured that Russia will continue negotiations with NATO and the US on legally binding security guarantees for the Russian Federation;
  • Macron assured that specific security guarantees should be formulated not only for Russia, but also for all EU member states, as well as Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus;
  • Both leaders said that the Minsk agreements are the only way to peace in the Donbass.

Assessment of the parties on the outcome of the negotiations

French President Emmanuel Macron said at a press conference after the talks that he and Putin had discussed some specific points of contact and ways of de-escalation, which he would discuss further with Kiev, Washington, EU and NATO allies. What these points and methods are, Macron did not begin to decipher and only noted that the fate of these proposals is likely to be decided in the near future.

“The next few days will be decisive and will require intensive discussions which we will pursue together,” the French president said after talks with Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said several proposals put forward by French President Emmanuel Macron during talks on February 7 in Moscow could form a basis for moving forward on the crisis over Ukraine. From this point Putin described the talks as useful, substantive, and businesslike.

However, the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, urged not to expect “any decisive changes” from these negotiations, but stressed that Putin would be ready to continue the discussion that he and Macron had begun. Federation Council Senator Andrey Klimov, in a conversation with, said that the negotiations between the presidents of Russia and France showed that, despite the differences, the parties switched to a diplomatic path to resolve them.

The negotiation process between France and Russia was also discussed on the Rain TV channel with Tatyana Kastuyeva-Jean, a researcher at the French Institute of International Relations. The expert believes that the results of the French leader’s visit to Moscow can be generally assessed as positive, “which may open a window towards de-escalation and leave a chance for diplomacy.”

Meeting of Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Zelensky

On February 8, 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev. The subject of negotiations between the leaders was the discussion of ways of peaceful resolution of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as political and economic cooperation between Ukraine and France.

“We greatly appreciate the support of France in the process of a peaceful settlement in Donbass. We have common views with the President of France on the challenges facing Ukraine and Europe as a whole,” the Ukrainian President said.

Macron, in turn, stated that negotiations on the situation in Ukraine after his meetings with Putin and Zelensky could move forward and that there were concrete, practical solutions to reduce tensions between Russia and the West.

Telephone conversation between Macron and Biden

US President Joe Biden had a conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron after the latter’s visits to Moscow and Kiev. This was during a briefing for journalists, said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“The President spoke to President Macron this morning. <…> I expect him to speak with a number of other European colleagues during the week,” she said.

According to a report from the White House, the two presidents discussed ongoing diplomatic deterrence efforts, undertaken in close cooperation between allies and partners, in response to Russia’s ongoing military build-up near Ukraine’s borders.

It is worth emphasizing that earlier, on February 7 in Washington, US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the situation around Ukraine, containment of Russia and issues related to energy. After the talks, Biden said that the United States, along with Germany and other allies, are working together to achieve a diplomatic settlement of the situation around Ukraine.

Upcoming meetings and talks

At a press conference after bilateral talks, Putin said both he and Macron would speak by phone again after the French leader’s trip to Kyiv. In addition, as the Kremlin press service announced, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will hold talks in Moscow on February 15. It is expected that the parties will first of all consider the situation around Ukraine and the issue of providing Russia with security guarantees by the West.


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