Russian President Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call Tuesday that the West should stop arming Ukraine and that Moscow was still open to talks with Kyiv.
Putin told Macron there were “war crimes” being committed by Ukraine that the EU has ignored and said the West “could help stop these atrocities by putting relevant pressure on the Kyiv authorities, as well as halting the supply of weapons to Ukraine.”
Russia has issued multiple warnings over the US-led campaign to pour weapons into Ukraine, but it hasn’t deterred NATO countries as they continue to escalate military aid to Kyiv. The Russian Defense Ministry often reports Russian forces striking sites in Ukraine where Western-provided arms are stored.
The Russian leader also said Ukraine was “not serious” about pursuing talks to end the war. “The Russian side is still open to dialogue,” Putin said, according to a Kremlin readout of the call.
According to Macon’s office, the French leader told Putin that he was willing to work with international organizations to help lift the Russian embargo on food exports via the Black Sea and called for a ceasefire.
Macron is one of the few Western leaders that has maintained contact with Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine. Other leaders, including President Biden, have abandoned diplomacy with Moscow.