French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin told him on Monday that Russia would not further escalate issues with Ukraine, according to The Associated Press.

What he said: Macron said Tuesday that Putin told him Monday that “he won’t be initiating an escalation. I think it is important.”

  • Putin also reportedly told Macron that there would be no “permanent (military) base” or “deployment” in Belarus, where Russia had sent a number of troops already, per The Associated Press.

Yes, but: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he’d prefer a concrete plan for Russia’s de-escalation since he doesn’t “trust words in general.”

The mystery continues: However, Putin has signaled that he plans to continue the mystery about his intentions for the foreseeable future, according to The New York Times.

  • “Some analysts worry that his engagement in diplomacy in recent weeks is merely buying time for Russia’s military to make final preparations for an invasion,” per The New York Times.
  • Putin said, after all, that a large-scale war would happen in Ukraine were allowed to join NATO.
  • “Do you want France to go to war with Russia?” Putin said, per The New York Times. “That’s what will happen!”