Ukraine crisis: Macron says crucial days ahead after Putin summit

French President Emmanuel Macron has said the coming days will be crucial to de-escalating the Ukraine standoff, after a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Mr Putin hinted that progress had been made during his first Moscow summit with a Western leader since Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders.

Moscow has denied any plans to invade.

However, Western powers have become increasingly concerned by the possibility of a conflict.

US officials said on Sunday that Russia has assembled 70% of military forces needed for a full-scale invasion.

On Monday, President Joe Biden threatened to shut down a key Russian gas pipeline to Germany if Moscow invades Ukraine following a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Washington.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also indicated his support for sanctions. Writing in The Times newspaper on Tuesday, he added that the UK is considering deploying Royal Air Force (RAF) fighters and Royal Navy warships to the region.

Western countries have already rejected a number of Moscow’s demands, including that the Nato defence alliance rule out Ukraine becoming a member, and that it reduce its military presence in eastern Europe.

They have instead suggested other areas of negotiation, for example talks on cutting back nuclear weaponry.

Source: BBC

Ray Charles Marfo

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