PARIS, February 20. /TASS/. French President Emmanuel Macron is making his last efforts to avert a large-scale conflict in Ukraine, a French presidential administration official told reporters after his talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
“The president of the republic is making his last efforts to prevent a major conflict in Ukraine,” the administration official said. “He is ready for new steps for the sake of stability and peace, and does not rule out new missions.”
However, the possibility of a “new spiral of violence” remains “high,” he added.
According to the presidential administration, Zelensky assured Macron that he “will not respond to provocations on the line of contact in Donbass.”
“Russia has massed enough forces to invade Ukraine if it wants to,” the official said. “A military campaign against Ukraine would bring a war to the center of Europe.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin will also hold a phone conversation with Macron, the fifth since the start of the year. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks had been scheduled for February 20. Agence France-Presse reported, citing the French presidential administration, that Macron was set to discuss the Ukrainian escalation with his Russian counterpart.
The situation along the contact line in eastern Ukraine took a turn for the worse in the morning of February 17. The DPR and LPR reported some of the most intensive shelling by Kiev forces in recent months. The shelling damaged some civilian facilities.
On Friday, the leaders of the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (LPR and DPR), Leonid Pasechnik and Denis Pushilin, announced the evacuation of the republics’ inhabitants to Russia, citing the increasing threat of hostilities. All-out mobilization was announced in the republics on Saturday.