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Vladimir Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron he would “play ice hockey” instead of peace talks: report

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The talks took place days before Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told France’s Emmanuel Macron that he would rather play “ice hockey” than hold talks with US President Joe Biden about averting war in Ukraine. Wire, The development took place just four days before the Russian offensive began, the outlet further said.

Read also | UK PM says what Putin did in Ukraine is ‘evil’

Mr Putin had a nine-minute conversation with Mr Macron in February where the derogatory remarks were made. The details of the conversation will be revealed in a documentary to be aired Thursday on France 2, the state’s main television channel. Wire,

Mr Macron ended the call with a suggestion to Mr Putin to hold a last-minute summit with the US President. While the Russian president was not against the idea, he showed no interest in setting a date, according to the UK-based Express,

“To be honest, I wanted to play ice hockey,” the outlet quoted him as saying during a phone conversation.

Mr. Putin continued, “Here I am talking to you from the sports hall before starting physical exertion. But first I will talk to my advisers.”

The Russian leader also criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, accusing him of “doing nothing” to implement the Minsk accord. Express,

Another conversation that Mr Putin had with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also be featured in the documentary.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing war, Mr Putin warned Finland and Sweden on Wednesday that Moscow will respond if they welcome NATO troops and military infrastructure to their territory.

Addressing a news conference in Turkmenistan, Mr. Putin said, “Only we must understand clearly and precisely – while there was no threat before, in terms of the deployment of troops and military infrastructure there, we need to be symmetrical.” We have to respond promptly and take it up. Threats in areas where threats to us arise,” the Russian president was quoted as saying by CNN.

He also said that Russia would not mind if Sweden and Finland joined NATO.

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