Putin says Macron’s statements about the invasion are “provocative speculation”

Russian President Vladimir Putin told French counterpart Emanuel Macron on Saturday that Moscow’s accusations of plans to attack Ukraine were “provocative speculation” and could lead to conflict in the former Soviet country.

Putin and Macron discussed what Moscow called “provocative speculations related to Russia’s alleged planned” invasion “of Ukraine,” the Kremlin said after telephone talks.

In a statement, the Kremlin accused Kiev’s allies of sending “modern weapons” to the former Soviet country and unwillingness to force the Kiev authorities to implement Western-mediated agreements to end the escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“Conditions are being created for possible aggressive actions of Ukrainian security forces in the Donbas,” the Kremlin added.

Putin, who received Macron at the Kremlin last Monday, stressed that the United States and NATO have not reacted to Russia’s demands for security guarantees, the statement said.

“The reluctance of the leading Western countries to push the Kiev authorities to implement the Minsk agreements was also emphasized,” the Kremlin said.

According to the French president, they talked for one hour and 40 minutes amid a barrage of diplomacy aimed at dissuading Putin from marching to his western neighbor. US President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak with the Russian leader on Saturday. Putin says Macron’s statements about the invasion are “provocative speculation”

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