US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron pledged Wednesday to coordinate their response to Russia's military buildup on the Ukrainian border, the White House said. France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will hold talks on the crisis in Bucharest on Thursday with nine ministers from Eastern Europe and the Baltic states.
07:22 Paris time
No indication for now that Russia is ready to take action: French Foreign Minister
There are no indications at this stage to suggest that Russia is ready to take action in Ukraine, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France 2 Television on Wednesday.
Le Drian will hold talks on the crisis in Bucharest on Thursday with nine ministers from Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, including Poland, the Czech Republic, and Estonia.
Speaking to the Romanian parliament on Wednesday to mark the 15 years since it joined the European Union, Le Drian said Paris wanted to show its solidarity and underscore the EU's unity after Russia had chosen to act as a destabilising power.
02:38 Paris time
Biden and Macron pledge to coordinate response to Russia's military buildup
In a call made shortly after Macron said he might visit Russia to seek a diplomatic solution, the French leader and Biden "affirmed their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the White House said.
They also reviewed "ongoing coordination on both diplomacy and preparations to impose swift and severe economic costs on Russia should it further invade Ukraine," a statement said.
"President Biden and President Macron agreed their teams will stay in close touch, including in consultation with NATO allies and EU partners, on our coordinated and comprehensive approach to managing these issues."
Russia has deployed more than 100,000 heavily armed troops around Ukraine. The United States and its allies accuse Moscow of preparing to invade the former Soviet republic, which has ambitions of joining Western institutions, including NATO.
Moscow says the troops are there because of threats from the United States and its allies.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)