French President Emmanuel Macron has told reporters that President Vladimir Putin assured him that Russian forces would not ramp up the crisis near Ukraine’s borders.
“I secured an assurance there would be no deterioration or escalation,” he said before meeting Ukraine’s leader.
President Macron this week is on a diplomatic tour of national capitals. He arrived in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Tuesday after almost six hours of talks with Putin in Moscow on Monday.
At a news conference with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Macron said there was now the chance to “make these negotiations move forward” between Russia and Ukraine, and that he could see “concrete solutions” to reducing tensions.
Zelensky meanwhile called on Putin to take serious measures to reduce tensions.
“I do not really trust words, I believe that every politician can be transparent by taking concrete steps,” he said.
However, Russia said any suggestion of a guarantee was “not right”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied any deal had occurred, although he said the troops were expected to return to Russia at some point.