Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was prepared to keep negotiating over Russia’s security demands in Eastern Europe but offered a stark warning over the possibility of a full-scale war between Russia and the West — using a five-hour meeting with his French counterpart on Monday to keep the world guessing about his intentions.

Putin said that proposals made by President Emmanuel Macron of France in their one-on-one meeting at the Kremlin were "too early to speak about” but could create "a foundation for our further steps.” Macron, in a joint news conference with Putin after their hastily scheduled meeting, described the coming days as potentially decisive in heading off what the West fears could be a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"We are in a situation of extreme tension, a degree of incandescence that Europe has rarely known in the past decades,” Macron said.