PARIS, May 28. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin have called for the release of the Ukrainian prisoners of war who left the Azovstal steel plant, the Elysee Palace said on Saturday.
"The French president and the German federal chancellor called for the release of about 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers," the French presidential office said, explaining that those were the surrendered Ukrainian service members who had been holed up at the Azovstal plant since April 21.
Additionally, the French presidential office said that the French and German leaders cited the necessity of "lifting the blockage of the Odessa port in order to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports via the Black Sea to avoid a global food crisis."
The Elysee Palace pointed out that Macron and Scholz spoke about the Russian statement which suggested that ships might be let through to take out the grain.
"In this context, they also urged to continue the work begun with the United Nations," the French presidential office said.
On May 20, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that the Russian military completely liberated the Azovstal plant, where the remaining forces of the Ukrainian grouping in Mariupol had been besieged.