President Macron spoke this morning with his Russian counterpart. The discussion focused on the crises in Syria and Ukraine.

President Macron reaffirmed that France’s priority in Syria is the fight against terrorism in order to eradicate Daesh and to counter any resurgence of terrorism in the region. This fight is not over and is continuing on the ground within the framework of the international coalition. He underscored the need to avoid any further destabilization that could serve the purposes of the terrorists. He also stressed the need to ensure that the rights of the local populations are recognized and that the coalition’s allied forces, notably Kurdish forces, are preserved, in light of their ongoing commitment to the fight against Islamist terrorism.

He also reaffirmed the need to strictly comply with the commitments made at the summit in Istanbul on October 27 with respect to ensuring a sustained cessation of hostilities in Idlib.

President Macron underscored that France remained more committed than ever to finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of UNSCR 2254 - the only way to ensure stability, protect the civilian populations and bring about peace. In this respect he stressed the critical need for all powers concerned to assume their full responsibilities in order to ensure a credible constitutional process and free and impartial elections, under UN supervision.

With respect to the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, President Macron welcomed the agreement reached on December 27, 2018, on renewing commitment to the ceasefire and called for full and lasting compliance with it. He also called on Russia to release the detained Ukrainian sailors as swiftly as possible and to return the vessels seized following the naval incident in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018.