INTERNATIONAL: Russian President Vladimir Putin has said on Wednesday that the country will "do everything to find a compromise that would suit everyone" after holding talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Kremlin. Putin has also said the first Moscow summit he has held with a Western leader since the Kremlin began massing troops near its neighbour had been substantive, but also repeated warnings about the threat of war were Ukraine to join NATO.
In a joint news conference after talks with his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin has said there would be no winners should European countries be drawn into a military conflict with Russia in the event Ukraine joins NATO and tries to retake Crimea.
"If Ukraine joins NATO and tries to get Crimea back by military means, European countries will automatically be drawn into military conflict with Russia," Putin has stated, speaking with heavy emphasis. "There will be no winners."
He has urged Ukraine to comply with the Minsk agreements, which include an aim to end the separatist war by Russian-speakers in the Donbass region.
The Russian president has also said Washington and Brussels had raised some issues that could be discussed, although for Russia they were secondary.
Macron, who has pushed his diplomatic credentials as he eyes possible re-election in two months' time, held more than five hours of talks over dinner when he meet the Russian president.