The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin has spoken by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss his planned visit to Russia.

The Kremlin said Friday the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral ties, including preparations for Macron's trip to Russia, set for May, during which he is set to attend an economic forum in St. Petersburg.

The statement noted they hailed a Russian-French forum called "Trianon Dialogue" intended to encourage civil society contacts.

It added that Putin and Macron also discussed the situation in Syria and underlined the need for developing closer cooperation between Russia and France in tackling the Syrian crisis. They also talked about the conflict in Ukraine and the need to enforce the 2015 Minsk peace agreement that was sponsored by France and Germany.