The Kremlin denies that Putin promised Macron not to conduct exercises near Ukraine

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that French assertions that Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised French President Emmanuel Macron that Moscow wouldn’t conduct new military exercises near Ukraine, for now, were incorrect.

A French official said that Putin made this promise during lengthy talks in Moscow on Monday evening with Macron.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia and France had not yet been able to reach an agreement to reduce tension over Ukraine but said de-escalation was needed and that the meeting provided the basis for further work in this regard.

The same French official said that Putin had also agreed to withdraw troops participating in military exercises in Belarus near the border with Ukraine as soon as the exercises ended on February 20.

Peskov said the troops would return to their bases in Russia after the exercises, without specifying a date, but noted that no one had said the troops would remain in Belarus.

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