Telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron 2020-01-03 17:10:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron at the French side’s initiative. The two presidents wished each other a happy New Year. Both sides expressed concern over the death of Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, who was killed as a result of a US strike on Baghdad’s airport. It was stated that this attack could escalate tensions in the region. The two presidents also continued their exchange of opinion on Syria. Vladimir Putin informed his counterpart about the implementation of the Russian-Turkish agreements on northeastern Syria and Idlib. The two leaders stressed that it was necessary to continue the decisive joint fight against terrorism and reaffirmed the importance of promoting the intra-Syrian political process and providing humanitarian aid to civilians. When discussing the developments in Libya, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron spoke in favour of settling the crisis in the country peacefully. They expressed their support for the political and diplomatic efforts, including with the mediation of the UN and Germany. The presidents discussed the main aspects related to the settlement process of the Ukrainian crisis. They emphasised the importance of consistent implementation of the Minsk agreements and the agreements reached at the Normandy format summit held in Paris on December 9, 2019. They praised the exchange of prisoners between Kiev and Donbass, which took place on December 29, 2019, and the signing of the package deal on transiting Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine at the end of 2019. The presidents also touched on certain issues on the bilateral agenda and agreed to stay in touch.