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Putin, Macron discuss global challenges, anti-COVID efforts, Libya, Syria, Ukraine

The leaders continued to exchange views on ways to forge a new architecture of European security, other topics included current issues of Russian-French cooperation

MOSCOW, June 26. /TASS/. Combating the coronavirus infection and other global challenges, the development of bilateral relations, as well as settlement of conflicts in Libya, Syria and Ukraine were among the topics discussed by Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Emmanuel Macron of France during their talks, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.

According to the press service, the two leaders "has a lengthy conversation" in the videoconference format.

"A pressing task is to consolidate efforts to combat the coronavirus infection and overcome its impacts," the Kremlin said, adding that other global challenges addressed during the talks were international terrorism, climate change and "growing conflict potential in many regions across the globe."

"Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron noted that as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council Russia and France have special responsibility for maintaining international peace and security," the press service said. "In this context, major significance is given to the implementation of Russia’s initiative to call a summit of the heads of state of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council."

The two presidents analyzed various aspects of the situation in the sphere of strategic stability. "It was stressed that it is important to preserve mechanisms of arms control and building predictability and trust in the military sphere," the press service said. "The sides agreed to invigorate joint efforts on this dossier in the 2+2 format involving the countries’ defense and foreign ministers."

The leaders continued to exchange views on ways to forge a new architecture of European security. "The sides agreed a list of key areas of Russian-French dialogue on these and other topics between the corresponding agencies," the Kremlin said.

Other topics included current issues of Russian-French cooperation, "including with a focus on cooperation on the climate-change agenda, Arctic problems and peaceful use of nuclear energy, it added.

Apart from that, according to the Kremlin press service, Macron accepted Putin’s invitation to pay an official visit to Russia.

Regional problems

The two president also exchanged view on regional crises. "Concerning the Ukrainian conflict, the sides expressed concern over the lack of progress in the implementation of key provisions of the 2015 Minsk agreements and the resolutions adopted by the Normandy-format summits, including the one in Paris on December 9, 2019. The Russian side stressed that Ukraine must implement its commitments under political aspects of the settlement effort. It also stressed that there is no alternative to direct dialogue between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk," the press service said.

Putin and Macron also voiced concern over ongoing hostilities in Libya. The presidents spoke "in favor immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of intra-Libyan dialogue and called for consolidated international efforts to settle the crisis by political and diplomatic means," the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader informed his French counterpart about Russia’s efforts to normalize the situation in Syria’s de-escalation zone. "Both sides share the principled position on the necessity of further uncompromised fight on terrorism and steps towards improving the humanitarian situation in Syria," the press service said.