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UKRAINE CRISIS

UKRAINE

France demands reaction if Ukraine truce violated

France and other western countries are calling for a "strong reaction" from the international community if a major violation of a truce in Ukraine occurs, the French presidency said after video conference talks.

France demands reaction if Ukraine truce violated
President Fran├žois Hollande eyes up Russian leader Vladimir Putin after talks in Minsk earlier this month. Photo: AFP

The leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Britain and Italy as well as EU head Donald Tusk held video talks on the Ukraine conflict on Tuesday.

The leaders agreed that a "strong reaction from the international community would be necessary in the case of a major violation in the implementation" of a peace deal agreed in the Belarus capital Minsk on February 12th, a statement said.

They all underscored their backing for the Minsk agreement and the link between current sanctions and the implementation of the Minsk deal.

Washington and its European allies have accused Russia of fuelling the conflict by sending troops and weapons across the border and propping up pro-Moscow separatists. Russia denies the charges.

A series of internationally brokered truces have largely been ignored. The Ukraine conflict has claimed more than 6,000 lives.

UKRAINE

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have met the Ukrainian president in Kyiv, after the trio travelled overnight by train from Poland.

Macron, Scholz and Draghi meet Ukrainian president in Kyiv

The three leaders left in the early hours of Thursday, arriving into Kyiv on Thursday morning. After a visit to the heavily-bombed town of Irpin, they met Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

It is the first time that the leaders of the three European Union countries have visited Kyiv since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, and the visit comes as Kyiv is pushing for membership of the EU.

Macron has been paying a two-day visit to Romania and Moldova to discuss the ongoing crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There had been widespread speculation in France that he would combine the trip with a visit to Zelensky in Ukraine, but this was not confirmed until Thursday morning.

In a joint press conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, Macron reiterated his desire that Ukraine should win the war, but added that eventually negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will be necessary.

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