Following their Wednesday meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi decided to work “towards peace” in Ukraine, according to a statement released by Macron’s office. Macron has made no secret of his desire for Beijing, which continues to be a key ally of Moscow, and has not denounced the invasion of Ukraine that began almost a year ago, to put pressure on Russia to resume talks. According to the French presidency, on Wednesday in Paris, Macron and Wang talked about the war and its “repercussions on the most vulnerable countries, particularly in terms of food security and financing capacity.” Both Macron and Wang “expressed the same objective of contributing to peace in accordance with international law”, the Elysee Palace said, without specifying what each country’s contributions might be. After his visit to France, Wang will continue his tour with a stop at the Munich Security Conference, scheduled for Friday to Sunday. He will also travel to Moscow. The French president spoke of cooperation with China in the face of “global challenges”, including the climate crisis. Later Wednesday, Wang met with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna. On Thursday he will hold talks on strategic issues with Macron’s diplomatic advisor, Emmanuel Bonne. Ukraine shoots down Russian balloons Ukraine said Wednesday its aerial defence units had detected half a dozen balloons, apparently launched by Russia, over the capital Kyiv and shot most of them down. Kyiv authorities said the balloons could carry reconnaissance equipment and were launched to “detect and exhaust our air defence forces.” “Most of the probes have been shot down,” the city administration said in a statement, adding authorities would carefully examine the debris. The presence of the balloons in the sky prompted sirens to go off in the Ukrainian capital, which usually happens when missiles are approaching. Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat said that Russia uses balloons to exhaust Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles. “The Russians will use all available methods of warfare to achieve their goals,” he told AFP. “Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that these devices can conduct some kind of surveillance, so it is important to see what they are and understand them.” Ukraine’s government has repeatedly reported Russian balloons drifting in its airspace since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February of last year. Due to the presence of a flying object resembling a weather balloon on Tuesday, neighbouring Moldova temporarily closed its airspace amid heightened tensions with Moscow. Since a massive white Chinese balloon was seen flying over a number of top-secret nuclear weapons sites before being shot down off the east coast in early February, the United States has been in a state of alarm.