Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday held a phone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, during which they discussed the situation in Ukraine.
"Putin informed Macron in detail about the provocation staged by Ukrainian radicals in the area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant with the involvement of a sabotage group. Attempts to blame the Russian military for this incident are part of a cynical propaganda campaign," the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that the physical and nuclear safety of the plant is well protected.
Macron expressed to Putin his concerns over the nuclear safety, security and safeguards in Ukraine during Russia's military operation, French presidential palace the Elysee said in a press release after the phone conversation.
On a proposal by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to hold a trilateral (IAEA-Russia-Ukraine) meeting in the Chernobyl zone to work out a mechanism for ensuring safety of nuclear facilities in Ukraine, Putin said that this idea could be useful in general, but it would be worth considering holding such a meeting via teleconference or in a third country.
The two heads of state discussed the evacuation of civilians. Putin pointed out that Kiev has not yet implemented the negotiated agreements on such a pressing humanitarian issue. Macron was again invited to work actively with the Kiev authorities on the latter's compliance with international humanitarian law.
Putin also informed the French president about the current state of the Russia-Ukraine talks, expressing readiness to "continue the dialogue under Kiev's unconditional compliance with Russia's known demands."
"The most important thing is that the Ukrainian side should take a serious approach to reaching agreements, the implementation of which is important for the cessation of hostilities," said the statement.
The two presidents agreed on further contacts at various levels.