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French FM: Discussions with Russia not in Paris's interest due to Moscow's false statements

by Kateryna Hodunova April 9, 2024 9:13 AM 2 min read
Stephane Sejourne, currently the French foreign minister, as the leader of Renew Europe liberal congress in the Palais d'Egmont on May 30, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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Paris is no longer interested in discussions with Russia after Moscow published differing accounts on the latest call between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said in an interview for France 24 on April 8.

"It is not in our current interest to hold discussions with Russian officials because the statements and the summaries issued about them are lies," Sejourne said.

Lecornu and Shoigu held a rare call on April 3 after a mass shooting at the Crocus City concert hall outside Moscow in late March. It was the first call between the two countries' defense chiefs since October 2022.

After the conversation, the French Defense Ministry published a statement that said Lecornu condemned the attack of the Islamic State (ISIS) and expressed "France's solidarity with the victims."

The French defense minister also "strongly condemned" the Russian war in Ukraine and underscored France's support for the Ukrainian people.

The Russian Defense Ministry, on its part, claimed that France allegedly expressed its willingness to hold dialogue on Ukraine or discuss possible peace negotiations based on Istanbul talks held in 2022, which brought no results.

The French government later denied these claims.

Sejourne said that trust must first be restored between Russia and France, adding that the "developments on the battlefield in Ukraine" also must show the restoration of "interstate relations," which is not currently happening.

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