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December 10, 2021

French President Emmanuel Macron warned on Friday about the risk of self-fulfilling prophecies, following a U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia could be planning a multi-front offensive on Ukraine as early as next year.

"I think that our primary objective is to avoid any unnecessary tension, what I will call self-fulfilling news," Macron said when asked about that assessment. "What we all want, Europeans and Americans is to show that we are paying close attention to the situation," he told a joint news conference with Germany's new Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

Macron said he had spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier on Friday and that they would discuss new initiatives to unlock peace talks on the conflict in eastern Ukraine when they meet next week.

"We will launch further activities to make sure that Ukraine has a good perspective," said Scholz, who was making his first official visit as chancellor. "We have a good basis that needs to be revived - for example, the talks in the Normandy format," he added, referring to discussions between Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine meant to help solve the crisis.