Macron-Putin Meeting Produces Potential Deal as Biden Continues Threats

The meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has produced a potential agreement to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine, according to officials in Paris. The Financial Times reports that Putin has “moved towards de-escalating the Ukraine crisis by promising not to undertake any new ‘military initiatives’ and agreeing to withdraw thousands of Russian troops from Belarus after the completion of planned exercises.”

While Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov clarified that any deal would “require agreement from France’s EU and NATO allies, first and foremost the US,” Putin said the Paris proposal could serve as a basis for a settlement to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, adding that he “will do everything to find compromises that suit everyone.” Putin and Macron plan to speak again after the French leader meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A second bilateral meeting between world leaders occurred in Washington, where US President Joe Biden met with German Chancellor Olaf Sholtz. Biden continues to take an aggressive posture, threatening to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany.

While Scholtz said Berlin is in agreement with the US on the steps it would take if Russia invaded Ukraine, the chancellor refrained from mentioning the Nord Stream 2 project and cited the need for ambiguity on sanctions, arguing “we do not spell out everything in public.”

Like other European powers, Ukraine is unwilling to adopt America’s aggressive rhetoric or pessimistic outlook, even as the supposed victim of the looming ‘Russian aggression.’ Mykhailo Podolyak, advisor to President Zelensky, said “An honest assessment of the situation suggests that the chance of finding a diplomatic solution for de-escalation is still substantially higher than the threat of further escalation.”

One pitfall for any potential agreement would be a major US military escalation in Ukraine. Russia is warning of that possibility, with its TASS news outlet reporting that Kyiv has called on the US to “deploy several battalions of THAAD mobile anti-ballistic missile defense launchers with radars” within its borders.

Since 2007, Putin has warned US missile defense systems in Eastern Europe cross Russia’s ‘red lines’ and pose an existential threat to his country, while Peskov said any such deployment in Ukraine would mark “another step towards destabilization.”

Will Porter contributed to the article. Reprinted with permission from The Libertarian Institute.

6 thoughts on “Macron-Putin Meeting Produces Potential Deal as Biden Continues Threats”

  1. Meanwhile, we now know where those six Russian landing craft ships are going – just as predicted, the Black Sea.

    Russian Navy’s amphibious assault ships transiting Black Sea straits for massive drills

    “Currently, the crews of the large amphibious assault ships Korolyov, Minsk and Kaliningrad are in the Dardanelles Strait. The amphibious assault ships Pyotr Morgunov, Georgy Pobedonosets and Olenegorsky Gornyak will pass through the Black Sea straits during the next day,” the ministry specified.

  2. The most important, and that being crucially so, point is that Europe is talking. And, this is true. The European powers are talking now. That is a good thing.

  3. Putin has “moved towards de-escalating the Ukraine crisis by promising not to undertake any new ‘military initiatives’ and agreeing to withdraw thousands of Russian troops from Belarus after the completion of planned exercises.”

    LOL So Putin in fact didn’t promise anything because those two measures were in the cards all along! Macron got exactly zero in “concessions.”

    The US will also ignore those “concessions” – as Putin well knows when he said it was dependent on all NATO to agree.

    As an aside, Andrei Martyanov was dismissive of the THAAD systems as being next to useless against low-flying cruise missiles. So even if Ukraine had them, it would pose little threat to Russia. Russia doesn’t need to use high-altitude ballistic missiles against Ukraine. So the only reason the US would put them there is to threaten Russian ballistic missiles on launch. So the only reason Ukraine asked for them is because 1) they’re idiots, or 2) they’ve been told to by the CIA and neocons. Which means the CIA/neocon plan is still in full operation.

  4. And here’s how long that lasted!

    Kremlin denies Putin told Macron there will be no new manoeuvres near Ukraine

    The Kremlin on Tuesday said that French assertions that President Vladimir Putin had promised Emmanuel Macron that Moscow would not carry out new military initiatives around Ukraine for now were “not right”…

    According to the same French official, Putin had also agreed that troops taking part in a military exercise on Belarusian territory near Ukraine’s borders will be pulled back once those war games are over on Feb. 20.

    Peskov said troops would return to their bases in Russia after the drills, without giving a precise date, but pointed out that nobody had ever said the forces would stay in Belarus.

  5. Usually when there are three carrier groups in one location, it’s because the geopolitical situation is tense.

    Three NATO Carrier Groups Are Exercising Together In The Mediterranean

    Although Neptune Strike was framed as not being in direct response to Russian activity in relation to Ukraine, it ultimately will have sent a powerful signal anyway, especially coupled with the fact that USS Harry S. Truman was originally stationed in the Mediterranean to help reassure allies and deter aggression…

    Meanwhile, amid considerable Russian Navy activities across the globe in recent weeks, the Kremlin’s maritime forces deployed in the Mediterranean have been significantly boosted by the arrival of the 11,500-ton Slava class cruiser Marshal Ustinov. After an eventful passage off NATO’s western flank, the Northern Fleet cruiser has joined another Slava class warship, Varyag, the flagship of the Pacific Fleet. The third Slava, the Moskva, is in the Black Sea, where it’s home-ported at Sevastopol naval base and also has flagship duties.

    There is no confirmation on the final destinations of these various cruisers, although there have been rumors that all three may eventually congregate in the Mediterranean, where they would be operating in the vicinity of the three NATO carrier groups. If so, this would likely be the first time that the Russian Navy has put all three of the remaining Slavas in the same operating area….

    Generally, however, it’s less common for Northern Fleet and Pacific Fleet warships to operate in this area, and having three Slavas in the Mediterranean and the adjacent Black Sea represents a relatively huge concentration of anti-ship and anti-aircraft firepower.

    Indeed, the non-regular nature of these maritime movements has led to speculation that Russia could also be planning on bringing together all three of these warships in the Black Sea, ahead of possible action against Ukraine, perhaps as a blocking action designed to complicate further NATO maritime movements…

    Should the cruisers ultimately gather in the Black Sea, they could bring effective additional capability to a potential air campaign against Ukraine, including covering a possible amphibious landing directed against the south of Ukraine, which would be expected to involve at least some of the landing ships that entered the Mediterranean late last month.

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