German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron called on Saturday, during a telephone interview with Vladimir Putin, for “serious direct negotiations” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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During an 80-minute meeting with the Russian president, the two leaders “insisted on an immediate ceasefire and a withdrawal of Russian troops,” said a statement from the German chancellery. MM. Macron and Scholz “called on the Russian president for serious direct negotiations with the Ukrainian president and a diplomatic solution to the conflict.”

This interview, which was held at the request of MM. Macron and Scholz according to the chancellery, was “devoted to the continuation of the Russian war against Ukraine and the efforts to end it”.

The German Chancellor and the French President also “called on the Russian President to ensure an improvement in the humanitarian situation of the civilian population”.

The two Western leaders “took positive note of the Russian President’s commitment to treat captured fighters in accordance with international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions, and to ensure unhindered access to the International Committee of the Red Cross” .

“The world food situation, which is particularly tense due to the war of Russian aggression”, was also addressed during the discussion.

“President Putin has assured that he wants to allow the export of cereals from Ukraine, in particular by sea”, affirms the chancellery.

The Russian president has “undertaken that Russia will not take advantage of the opening of the mine belt set up to protect Ukrainian ports, to allow the export of grain by ship, to carry out offensive actions “, assures the German chancellery, specifying that the three leaders agreed on the “central role” that the United Nations must play to guarantee exports.