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Putin, Macron exchange opinions about events in Ukraine - Kremlin

The leaders agreed to stay in touch

MOSCOW, February 25. /TASS/. The presidents of Russia and France, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, held a phone conversation on Thursday to exchange opinions about the events in Ukraine, the Kremlin press service said.

"During the phone conversation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, organized on the French side’s initiative, a serious and candid exchange of opinions about the situation around Ukraine took place," the press service said in a statement.

The Russian president clarified "causes and circumstances surrounding his decision to hold a special military operation" during the talk, the Kremlin said.

The leaders agreed to stay in touch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Thursday morning that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in order to protect people "who have been suffering from abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years." The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.

When clarifying the developments unfolding, the Russian Defense Ministry reassured that Russian troops are not targeting Ukrainian cities, but are limited to surgically striking and incapacitating Ukrainian military infrastructure. There are no threats whatsoever to the civilian population.