Putin tells France’s Macron Russia will achieve its objectives in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin told French leader Emmanuel Macron on Thursday that Moscow would achieve the goals of its military operation in Ukraine whatever happens, according to the Kremlin.
In a statement issued after the French and Russian presidents spoke by phone, the Kremlin made clear its goals included the demilitarisation and neutrality of Ukraine.
Any attempts by Kyiv to delay negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian officials would result in Moscow adding more items to a list of demands it has already set out, it said.
"Vladimir Putin outlined in detail the fundamental approaches and conditions in the context of negotiations with representatives of Kyiv. It was confirmed that, first of all, we are talking about the demilitarisation and neutral status of Ukraine, so that a threat to the Russian Federation will never emanate from its territory," the statement said.
"It was emphasised that the tasks of the special military operation will be fulfilled in any event, and attempts to gain time by dragging out negotiations will only lead to additional demands on Kiev in our negotiating position."
The statement said Russia's "special operation" in Ukraine was going "according to plan". It said reports that Russian forces were bombarding Kyiv were part of an "anti-Russia disinformation campaign", and that Russian forces were doing all they could to protect civilians.