French President Emmanuel Macron will visit Moscow and Kyiv to meet his counterparts early next week amid escalating tensions between the two countries, Macron's office said Friday.
Macron will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 7 and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Feb. 8 to discuss the Ukraine situation, as Western world leaders try to avoid a major conflict with Russia over Ukraine.
Macron has said that negotiating a path toward de-escalating tensions over Ukraine was a priority, even as the United States has said it was sending 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania as Russia massed troops near Ukraine.
Macron held separate phone calls with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders on Thursday to try to make progress on the status of the Donbass region as part of efforts to defuse tensions, Macron's office said in a statement on Thursday.
That statement had also said Macron had underscored to Putin and Zelenskyy the importance of discussing the conditions to reach a strategic balance in Europe that would enable a reduction in tension on the ground and guarantee security on the continent.
The U.S. had also said on Thursday that Russia has formulated several options as an excuse to invade Ukraine, including the potential use of a propaganda video showing a staged attack, as the Kremlin condemned American troop deployments in the region.