Home Awareness “Baroque” remarks, ambassador summoned… Update on the hiccup between Moscow and Paris

“Baroque” remarks, ambassador summoned… Update on the hiccup between Moscow and Paris

Relations between Paris and Moscow have deteriorated since the start of the year, against a backdrop of conflict in Ukraine. Russia notably claimed in January to have killed 60 French “mercenaries” in Kharkiv, in the north-east of Ukraine, while France denounced “a coordinated maneuver” of disinformation emanating from the Russians. And since mid-April, ten days after the resumption of dialogue between the defense ministers, the (diplomatic) tension between the two countries has further increased.

Russia summoned the French ambassador to Moscow on Friday, while last Monday, Stéphane Séjourné believed that Paris no longer saw “the point” of discussing with Moscow. 20 minutes to take stock.

What exactly happened on April 3?

On April 3, Paris took the initiative to call Moscow, a first since October 2022. And the content of the telephone conversation between Benjamin Lecornu and Sergei Choïgu has since created a rififi between the two countries. It must be said that since this telephone call, supposed to allow the two defense ministers to transmit “useful information” to the Russians on the attack on Crocus town hall, each has their own version of the facts. In its report of this interview, Russia said it “hopes” that the French secret services were not involved in this attack which left 144 dead on March 22. “The kyiv regime does nothing without the agreement of its Western supervisors. We hope that, in this affair, the French secret services are not behind it,” writes Sergei Choïgu, in the press release from his ministry reporting the appeal. Thinly veiled threats and speculations rejected by France.

What is France’s reaction?

On RFI last Monday, the head of French diplomacy Stéphane Séjourné thus called into question the summary made by Moscow of the exchange between Sébastien Lecornu and Sergueï Choïgu. A report that he deemed false and spoke of “instrumentalization”. At the same time, the French president denounced the “baroque and threatening remarks” of the Russians. “To say that France could be late, the Ukrainians are late… all this makes no sense, it does not correspond to reality. It is a manipulation of information, which is part of the arsenal, if I may say so, of war as it is used today by Russia,” also declared Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of the inauguration of the future aquatic center in Paris. Olympic Games.

“The Russian ministry, as usual, does not accept that its lies are corrected,” a French diplomatic source commented to AFP on Friday. “The minister recalled the reality of the exchanges and the attempt at manipulation by the Russian authorities following the call from the Minister of the Armed Forces,” added this Source.

What is Russia’s reaction?

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the French Ambassador to Moscow, Pierre Lévy, in response. The latter “was informed of the unacceptable nature of such statements, which have nothing to do with reality,” Russian diplomacy announced in a press release. “We consider these statements by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs as a conscious and deliberate action by the French side aimed at undermining the very possibility of any dialogue between the two countries,” she continued.

So where is the dialogue between Moscow and Paris today?

According to the communiqués, Russia was hoping to talk about war in Ukraine on April 3, when France called for consolidating the anti-terrorism security partnership between the two countries. The latter “is not suspended” but “does not function in a partnership manner as it should function”, the French Minister of the Armed Forces clarified on Friday in an interview with the LCI television channel. As for discussing with the Russians, “you have to do it when it’s useful,” added Sébastien Lecornu. This is simply called defending the interests of France. So we are not cut off. »

Emmanuel Macron spoke of a “rise in Russia’s aggressive posture” while the entourage of the French Defense Minister clearly asked the Russian authorities to “cease all exploitation”. On Monday, the head of French diplomacy, Stéphane Séjourné, for his part considered that it was “not in our interest today to discuss with Russian officials since the press releases that are coming out, the information that is being provided are false ”. From Abidjan, where he was finishing a tour in Africa, the minister added: before being able to speak to the Russians again, “it will perhaps first be necessary to establish trust, perhaps above all to have an evolution on the military ground in Ukraine to that relationships can be renewed. This is not yet the case today.

As for François Hollande, he advised, on France Inter last week, to cease all contact: “You have seen how Russia exploits this type of discussions. So today, my recommendation is: no contact with Russia. » Indeed, according to Stéphane Séjourné, the “long tradition of cooperation with Russia in matters of terrorism” is today at a standstill.

This article is originally published on news.dayfr.com

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