Telephone conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron 2020-08-12 17:40:00 Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron at the French side’s initiative. Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron discussed in detail the situation in the Republic of Lebanon, focusing on the steps taken by Russia and France to provide humanitarian assistance to the people in Lebanon after the explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4. Emmanuel Macron shared his impressions of his recent visit to Lebanon, as well as the results of a videoconference organised by France on August 9 to rally international aid for that country. During the exchange of views on internal political developments in Lebanon, the Russian side reaffirmed its position in support of the republic's national unity and sovereignty. The need to resolve any controversy via a process consisting of and led by the Lebanese, based on constructive dialogue and without external interference, was also underscored. The two leaders also considered various aspects of the internal Ukrainian conflict, in particular, they praised the additional ceasefire measures that were approved at the Minsk Contact Group meeting on July 22. The Russian President reiterated the importance of strict fulfilment by Ukraine of its obligations concerning the political aspects of the Minsk Agreements, including a direct dialogue between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk in order to legalise the special status of Donbass. It was agreed to continue this joint work within the Normandy format. The current situation in Belarus was also touched on. In the context of the bilateral agenda and preparations for a possible visit by the President of France to Russia, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron expressed mutual interest in developing ties in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian spheres, and in taking steps to strengthen European security and stability. The importance of further cooperation in countering the spread of the coronavirus infection was reaffirmed, also in light of the recent registration of a coronavirus vaccine in Russia. Taking the opportunity, Vladimir Putin conveyed his sincere condolences over the deaths of French citizens in southwestern Niger.