On their joint initiative, the President of the French Republic and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany held a conversation with President Putin this morning, Saturday 28th May 2022. 

President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Scholz once again emphasised to President Putin that any solution to the war must be negotiated between Moscow and Kyiv, with due respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They reiterated their insistent request for a ceasefire and called upon President Putin to agree to direct dialogue with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the earliest possible opportunity. 

The French President and the German Chancellor also called for the release of some 2,500 defenders of Azovstal held as prisoners of war by Russian forces. 

President Macron and Chancellor Scholz also emphasised to President Putin the urgent need for the blockade of Odessa to be lifted to allow the export of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea and thus avert a global food crisis. They noted the Russian President’s promise that vessels would be granted access to the port, once cleared of mines, for the purposes of exporting cereals, and that the port would not be used by Russia for military purposes. 

With this aim in view, they called for rapid progress on the work under way with the United Nations. The French President and Chancellor Scholz will remain in close contact on this matter.