World: Russia’s security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine: Putin

Moscow/Paris, March 1 (IANS) All Moscow’s security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Putin on Monday reiterated that a settlement would only be possible if Russia’s security concerns were taken into account, including “Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea,” as well as the country’s commitment to solving the tasks of Ukraine’s demilitarisation and denazification, and the issue of Ukraine’s neutral status, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin said Russia is open to negotiations with Ukraine and expressed hope they would lead to the desired result, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The French side expressed its well-known views on Russia’s special military operation . and expressed hope for a quick settlement of the conflict through dialogue,” the Kremlin said.

Putin said that Russia’s armed forces are not striking civilian objects, and do not pose a threat to civilians.

“Ukrainian nationalists, who have been using their civilian population ‘as a human shield,’ are a threat,” Putin said.

According to the Elysee, Macron asked Russia to respect international law and protect the civil population.

“The French President reaffirmed the necessity to implement an immediate ceasefire,” the Elysee said.

Putin and Macron agreed to hold further contacts.

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