During the dialogue, Putin confirmed his intention to grant political asylum to former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He recalled his promise to Poroshenko about political asylum, pointing out that its fulfillment would not be affected by “serious differences on the issue of a settlement in Donbass”. At the same time, the Russian leader noted that "his prosecution as a state criminal, in my opinion, is an excessive bid for the success of the current leadership".
The question was raised about the presence of NATO troops in the East, as well as fears of Russian aggression in Europe. As for statements that Russia is allegedly behaving aggressively, it is contrary to common sense, Putin said.
"We are categorically against the expansion of NATO through new members in the east, because it poses a common threat to us - the further expansion of NATO to our borders. We are not moving towards NATO, but NATO is moving towards us. Therefore, to say that Russia is behaving aggressively, at least, does not correspond to sound logic", - the Russian leader told Macron.
Putin also said that Russia considered the possible admission of Ukraine into the alliance dangerous. He stressed that the doctrinal documents of Ukraine state that the Russian Federation is its enemy and that it is possible to return Crimea by military means. If Ukraine wants to return Crimea by force, being a NATO country, a military confrontation will arise between Russia and the alliance. In addition, Russia cannot close its eyes to the fact that the alliance considers it its adversary, the Russian president added.
Putin at the same time specify that Ukraine has concentrated a military grouping of about 120 thousand people in the Donbass.
Speaking about Minsk's statements about nuclear weapons, Macron assured that Putin had dispelled his fears related to the statements of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
"I told President Putin that I was concerned about the draft Constitution of Belarus, which proposes to remove two fundamental provisions from 1994, as well as Lukashenka's call in December on nuclear weapons. I want to say that President Putin reassured me in this regard", - Macron said during a joint press conference following the conversation.
Earlier, we recall, Lukashenka said that he admits the possibility of placing Russian nuclear weapons on the territory of the republic.
The day before it was reported that the Kremlin does not expect a turning point in relations between Russia and France after the talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French leader Emamnuel Macron. Press Secretary of the Russian head Dmitry Peskov announced that the main topic of the conversation between the leaders of the two countries will be the topic of tension in Europe related to the situation around Ukraine, as well as the topic of Russian security guarantees, and "everything related to these main problems." At the same time, he noted that the main agenda does not include the topic of Nord Stream-2.