French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday evening that he intends to contact his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the bombing and drone strikes of Russian troops in Ukraine, as well as the security of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
This was stated by the President of France during a press conference on the results of European summit Held in Brussels, “The most pressing issue today is to continue calling for an end to the bombing and drone attacks.”
He added: “I intend to contact President Putin on this matter because it is clear that these attacks (…) constitute war crimes to a large extent in that they (target) civilian infrastructure and civilians themselves.”
“This is not the nature of the special operation that he (Putin) launched, the war that he unleashed at the beginning, which was a territorial seizure,” the French president emphasized.
French President and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose country currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, called on Tuesday for “an immediate end to air strikes and drone attacks on civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine.”
Regarding the invitation, Macron said on Thursday: “I would like this call to convince certain powers, China, India and others, to join us and put pressure on Russia.”
The French President is also involved in negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the safety of five nuclear power plants in Ukraine, primarily Zaporozhye, which is occupied by the Russian army.
And about this stage, Macron said: “I want us to be able to fully achieve the withdrawal of heavy weapons, light weapons and armed forces. We’re about to get there,” without further details. “When things are ripe, I will contact President Putin to try to help finalize these agreements,” he added.
On Thursday, the European Union announced that it had approved a new package of sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on Russia over the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
The package, the details of which were not disclosed, was approved after days of discussions at a meeting of ambassadors of Bloc 27 countries.
The Czech Republic, which has rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, said the new package must be approved in accordance with written procedures on Friday.
Details will then be published in the block’s legal documents.
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, last week proposed a travel ban and asset freeze on about 200 other Russian officials and military personnel as part of a new round of crackdowns.
The targets of the recommended sanctions were government ministers, legislators, regional governors and political parties.