France's Macron in phone talk presses Putin over Ukraine / REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to cool tensions with Ukraine.

That's according to The Associated Press.

In a phone talk with Putin, the French president urged Putin to "commit in good faith and in a sustainable way toward reducing tensions with Ukraine," notably by withdrawing troops and heavy weaponry from the Ukrainian border.

Read alsoZelensky's chief of staff comments on Russian forces' withdrawal newsMacron also expressed his support on Monday for fellow European countries whose diplomats have been targeted by Russia in a series of tit-for-tat expulsions, according to Macron's office.

In addition, the French president expressed "grave concern" about the health of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and insisted on the need to respect his "fundamental rights."

Russian troops amassing along Ukraine's borders

  • On March 30, 2021, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Ruslan Khomchak said Russia had deployed 28 battalion tactical groups along the state border of Ukraine and in the temporarily occupied territories. It is also said to be planning to bring up to 25 battalion tactical groups under the guise of preparing for military drills. Such actions pose a threat to Ukraine's military security.
  • The U.S. European Command raised its alert status to the highest level after fighting had resumed between Russia-led forces and Ukrainian troops in Donetsk region.
  • The United States, finding reports of Russian military movements on Ukraine's border credible, asked Moscow to explain the "provocations" and is ready to engage on the situation.
  • On April 22, 2021, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country would begin the withdrawal of troops, which had taken part in military exercises in occupied Crimea and near the borders of Ukraine, to their permanent bases in the Southern and Western Military Districts.