Macron Takes Leading Diplomatic Role As Tensions Simmer Between Ukraine, Russia

Russian President Putin attends a meeting with his French counterpart Macron in Moscow [Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters]

French President Emmanuel Macron held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the highest-profile intervention yet by a Western leader to ease the crisis.

Meanwhile, a Russia-backed separatist leader in eastern Ukraine said a full-scale war could break out in the region at any time in an interview with the Reuters news agency.

The concentration of an estimated 100,000 Russian soldiers and military equipment near the Ukraine border has spurred Western fears that Moscow may be planning an attack.

Russia denies it is preparing for an invasion and has accused the United States-led NATO military alliance of undermining the region’s security.

Russia wants NATO to bar Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations from acquiring its membership and pull back forces from Eastern Europe.

Washington and NATO have rejected Russia’s demands as non-starters.

Europe in ‘most dangerous’ moment since Cold War

Europe is facing its most serious security threat since the Cold War, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned even he stressed a diplomatic solution with Russia over Ukraine remains “possible” at a joint news conference in Washington with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“We are living, to my understanding, the most dangerous moment for security in Europe after the end of the Cold War,” Borrell told reporters

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