France’s Macron speaks with U.S. President Biden ahead of his trip to Moscow

Reading Time: 2 minutes

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke again on Sunday with U.S. President Joe Biden in a “coordination logic” ahead of his trip to Moscow on Monday, the French Presidency and the White House said.

The 40 minutes-long call allowed the two leaders to “share information about contacts made during the weekend” for good coordination ahead of the trip, the French Presidency said.

Macron is due on Monday to visit Russia, which has massed troops near Ukraine, stoking Western fears of an invasion.

The White House said the two leaders discussed “ongoing diplomatic and deterrence efforts in response to Russia’s continued military build-up on Ukraine’s borders.”

Macron and Biden affirmed their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and agreed their teams will remain in touch and continue consulting with their allies and partners, including Ukraine, it added.

Russia has denied planning to invade Ukraine but has tens of thousands of troops near its neighbour’s borders, prompting the United States to order about 3,000 extra troops to bolster NATO’s eastern flank in Poland and Romania.

As Russia masses more than 100,000 troops near the border, Moscow has said it could take unspecified military action if its security demands are not met. Those include a promise that NATO will never admit Ukraine, a demand the United States and NATO have called unacceptable.