French, German leaders call for immediate ceasefire in call with Putin
Updated 14:48, 13-Mar-2022

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Saturday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to put in place an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine and called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Macron and Scholz appealed to Putin to "move toward a diplomatic solution to the conflict" in the 75-minute talk, according to German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit.

According to a Kremlin statement, Putin gave a "detailed account of the series of talks held via video conference by Russian and Ukrainian representatives over the past days," and called on the Western leaders to persuade the Ukrainian government to stop "criminal acts" by "nationalist battalions."

"Nationalist battalions regularly sabotage rescue operations and threaten civilians when they attempt to evacuate," the Kremlin said.

The three leaders agreed to continue to communicate on Ukrainian issues, the Kremlin added.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: Ukrainians cross an improvised path along a destroyed bridge on March 8, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine. /CFP)

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