Macron, Putin call focuses on safety standards at Chernobyl, other nuclear plants

March 6, 2022, 4:21 PM UTC

PARIS — The French presidency said the call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday focused primarily on the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear plants.

The call was on request from Macron and lasted almost two hours, the Elysee said.

A French official said Macron insisted on the need to ensure the International Atomic Energy Agency’s safety standards are respected at Chernobyl and in other nuclear plants. He told Putin these facilities must not be targeted by a Russian offensive or caught in the fighting.

Putin said he does not intend to attack nuclear plants and agreed on the principle of a “dialogue” between IAEA, Ukraine and Russia on this issue, according to the official, who spoke anonymously in line with the French presidency’s practices. Potential talks are to be organized in the coming days, he said.

Macron reiterated his call for Russia to stop its military operations and insisted on the need to protect the civilians and allow access to humanitarian aid.

“The (humanitarian) situation is difficult” including in Mariupol on Sunday, the official stressed. “Our demands remain the same: We want Russia to respond to these demands … very quickly and clearly.”

— By Sylvie Corbet

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