Vladimir Putin tells Emmanuel Macron the West must stop supplying weapons to Ukraine

Emmanuel Macron has spent hours speaking to the Russian leader, trying to negotiate a resolution to the conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sputnik / AP
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Russian President Vladimir Putin told French leader Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday that the West must stop supplying weapons to Ukraine, and accused Kyiv of not taking negotiations seriously, the Kremlin said.

Mr Putin accused Ukrainian forces of committing war crimes and claimed the EU was ignoring them.

"The West could help stop these atrocities by putting relevant pressure on the Kyiv authorities, as well as halting the supply of weapons to Ukraine," he said.

Mr Putin also said Kyiv was not being consistent or ready for "serious work" on ending the conflict.

"The Russian side is still open to dialogue," he told Mr Macron, the Kremlin said.

Mr Macron's office said that beyond repeating calls on Russia to end the assault on its neighbour with a ceasefire and peace talks, he urged Mr Putin to allow evacuations from the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol to continue.

He also offered to "work with the relevant international organisations to help lift the Russian blockade on Ukrainian food exports via the Black Sea, given its consequences for global food security".

Mr Putin linked the food situation to western sanctions against Russia and "noted the importance of the unimpeded functioning of the global logistics and transport infrastructure", the Kremlin said.

Mr Macron is one of the few western leaders to speak to Mr Putin since Moscow moved troops into Ukraine on February 24. He has spent hours on calls trying to negotiate a resolution to the conflict.

The war has killed thousands of people and displaced more than 13 million, creating the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

Updated: May 04, 2022, 5:25 AM