Russia’s President Vladimir Putin provided his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron with information regarding the militants’ preparations to stage chemical weapons provocations in Syria’s Idlib during a phone call on February 16.
“Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron discussed the developments in northeastern Syria and in the Idlib de-escalation zone. The President of Russia cited the available data on the militants’ preparations to stage provocations with the use of chemical agents,” the Russian Presidency office said in an official statement.
According to the statement, Putin also informed Macron of the agreements reached in Sochi on February 14. The two leaders noted need to promote the intra-Syrian political dialogue and to launch the work of the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible.
“The parties expressed mutual commitment to continuing Russian-French contacts on Syria in order to facilitate the peace settlement and assist in the country’s return to peaceful life,“ the statement added.
From its side, the French Presidency said that Macron told Putin during the call that France is focusing on continuing the fight against ISIS remnants, protecting civilians and providing “complete, safe, and unobstructed access to humanitarian aid to civilian populations.”
Under the leadership of Macron, France adopted a more radical approach on Syria. The European country participated in a strike against Damascus government forces in 2018 and stepped up its military presence in the war-torn country. Nonetheless, the recent developments in Syria forced France to work on improving coordination with Russia regarding the conflict.