Russia sees ‘positive signals’ after Macron’s visit to Ukraine

European diplomatic push is helping to avert war, says Kiev

The Kremlin said on Wednesday there were “positive signals” for the resolution of the Ukraine crisis following a meeting of the French and Ukrainian leaders in Kiev.

French President Emmanuel Macron met his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday amid a flurry of European diplomacy aimed at defusing fears that Moscow could invade Ukraine.

“There were positive signals that a solution to Ukraine could be based only on fulfilling the Minsk agreements,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, referring to accords signed in 2015 between Kiev and pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

He added, however, that there was no indication from Mr. Zelensky that Ukraine’s authorities were ready to “quickly” do what “Kiev should have done long ago”.

Both Mr. Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Mr. Macron saw on Monday, said they remained committed to the Minsk peace agreements, the French leader added.

Ukraine said on Wednesday that a European diplomatic push aimed at averting a feared Russian invasion of the ex-Soviet state was working but that the situation remained tense.

“The situation remains tense but under control. Diplomacy is continuing to lower tensions,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told reporters after talks with his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Albares.

“The way the greater European community responds to this crisis will determine the future of European security.”

“Ukraine’s position is that in recent years, Russia has been gravely violating international law and the Minsk agreements” on settling the separatist conflict, he said.

“And for this, it should be punished with sanctions,” he added.

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