The Kremlin said Monday that a meeting of the French and Russian leaders in Moscow was very important in resolving tensions over Ukraine, but that significant breakthroughs could not be expected.
"The situation is too complex to expect decisive breakthroughs in one meeting," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters ahead of talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
Macron's visit to Russia was "very important," Peskov said, as France also holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
He said that a "substantive and lengthy" discussion was expected when the two leaders meet later on Monday.
"Macron told Putin himself that he is coming with certain ideas to find possible options for defusing tensions in Europe," Peskov added.
Macron's visit to Moscow on Monday and to Kyiv on Tuesday kicks off a week of diplomacy in efforts to de-escalate the crisis over Ukraine.
Western leaders have raised the alarm over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine after Moscow amassed more than 100,000 troops on the border with its ex-Soviet neighbor.
Moscow denies that it is planning to invade, and Kyiv's presidency adviser said the chances of a diplomatic solution to the crisis remained "substantially higher than the threat of further escalation."
Also on Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington while his foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, will be in Kyiv along with her Czech, Slovak, and Austrian counterparts for a two-day visit.
Scholz will be in Moscow and Kyiv next week for talks with Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.