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Macron to propose de-escalation plan to Putin on Friday

France's head of state Emmanuel Macron wants to propose a path of de-escalation to Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks on Friday.

France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron wants to propose a path of de-escalation to Russian President Vladimir Putin in talks on Friday.

Macron said Tuesday that the aim of the meeting was to take stock and obtain some clarifications on Russia’s role in the Ukraine conflict.

Élysée sources said that Macron believed there was room for diplomacy in defusing the conflict. At the same time, however, he wanted to make it clear that military actions by Russia against Ukraine would have very serious consequences.

Western states are concerned that the conflict could escalate militarily with an invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. Moscow denies that such plans exist.

In Élysée circles, a de-escalation on the Russian side could be achieved through humanitarian measures, getting the separatists loyal to the Kremlin to negotiate with Kiev and a reduction of the military build-up along the border.

According to UN estimates, more than 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian government troops and separatists loyal to the Kremlin in the Ukrainian region of Donbass.

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