Putin, Macron, Merkel Have Online Discussion of Strategic Situation
March 31 , 2021 (EIRNS)—On March 30 Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron held a video conference in what a statement by the Russian Presidency said was held in a “business-like and frank atmosphere.”
The leaders discussed Ukraine, in which they confirmed the lack of alternatives to the 2015 Minsk Complex of Measures as the basis for a settlement, while Putin emphasized that the Kiev authorities must implement all the previous agreements reached at the top level, including establishing a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk and settling the legal aspects of a special status for Donbas. Putin expressed serious concern about the escalation of armed confrontation on the contact line, being provoked by Ukraine and its refusal to implement the additional measures to strengthen the ceasefire coordinated by the Trilateral Contact Group in July 2020.
The three also discussed measures to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the outlook for the registration of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in the EU, as well as possible deliveries and joint production in the EU countries. Other topics included Belarus, in which Putin asserted that foreign interference in that sovereign state is unacceptable; and Libya in which all three leaders expressed satisfaction with the ceasefire holding and hope for establishment of a united transitional government among all the main Libyan forces. They also discussed the situation in Syria, including the provision of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people; the Iranian nuclear deal; and relations between Russia and the EU.