France denies that French President Emmanuel Macron requested Russia open the civilian evacuation corridors from the Ukrainian cities of Khiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv and Sumy into Russia and Belarus.
“The president of the Republic has neither requested nor obtained corridors to Russia after his conversation with Vladimir Putin,” the Elysee presidential palace tells BFMTV, according to the BBC.
“The president of the Republic insistently asks to let the civilian populations leave and to allow the transport of aid,” the palace says. “It’s another way for Putin to push his narrative and say that it is the Ukrainians who are the aggressors and they are the ones who offer asylum to everyone.”
Evacuation routes published by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, citing the Defense Ministry, show that civilians will be able to leave the Ukrainian cities and head to Russia and Belarus.