Scholz, Macron tell Putin way out of crisis lies in Ukraine-Russia talks

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Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to continue with talks over the war in Ukraine in a phone call on Thursday, French and German sources said.

“Germany and France demanded an immediate ceasefire from Russia” and “insisted that any solution to this crisis must come through negotiations between Ukraine and Russia,” according to German government sources.

The Elysee confirmed the call in a statement, adding that EU leaders would be discussing the conflict in Ukraine at their summit in Versailles on Thursday evening.

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“The three leaders agreed to remain in close contact over the coming days,” it said.

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine held their first face-to-face talks in Turkey on Thursday after two weeks of war, amid international outrage over Moscow’s bombing of a children’s hospital in Kyiv.

But Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said they had made “no progress” on a ceasefire, 14 days after Russia invaded its pro-Western neighbor, triggering a conflict that has caused 2.2 million refugees to flee across Ukraine’s borders.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow wanted to continue negotiations with Ukraine.

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