Biden and Macron review coordinated response against Russia over Ukraine

Mr Macron said finding a negotiated path towards de-escalating tensions was a priority. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS)  – US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron reviewed during a call on Wednesday (Feb 2) the coordination of diplomatic efforts and plans to impose economic costs on Moscow should it invade Ukraine, the White House said.

“President Biden and President Macron agreed their teams will stay in close touch, including in consultation with NATO Allies and EU partners, on our coordinated and comprehensive approach to managing these issues,” it said in a readout. 

Macron is also due to hold a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the next 24 hours to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

Earlier, Macron said finding a negotiated path towards de-escalating tensions was a priority even as the United States said it was sending 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania as Russia amassed troops near Ukraine.

The French presidency said Macron would speak with President Putin on Thursday at 1700 GMT (1am Friday Singapore time).

Depending "on progress in our discussions in the coming hours", Macron said he could not rule out travelling to Russia.

Russia has gathered tens of thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine but has denied plans to invade Ukraine.

France has also offered to send troops to Romania under Nato's leadership to help shield Eastern Europe from a potential spillover from the crisis.

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