France denies after phone call with Russia: “nothing like that was accepted or suggested”

Abroad Phone call with Russia

France denies – “nothing of the kind has been accepted or proposed”

Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of Russia

Sergei Shoigu, Minister of Defense of Russia

Source: dpa/—

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The defense ministers of Russia and France spoke on the phone for the first time since 2022. It's about the attack in Moscow and the war in Ukraine. Shortly afterwards, France denied the Russian account of the conversation.

I amIn his first phone call in nearly a year and a half, French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the conflict in Ukraine and the fight against terrorism. As announced by the Ministry of Defense in Paris on Wednesday evening, Lecornu condemned the Islamist terrorist attack near Moscow and recalled France's desire to intensify exchanges in the fight against terrorism.

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Lecornu insisted that France had no information about the link between the attack and Ukraine. The minister appealed to Russia to refrain from any instrumentalisation.

According to Paris, France's defense minister has also unreservedly condemned Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. France will support Ukraine to the extent necessary and actively in its struggle for independence and sovereignty to restore peace and security on the European continent.

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Moscow said Leghorn tried to convince the Russian side that Ukraine and the West were not involved in the terrorist attack, shifting responsibility to Islamic State terrorist fighters. Shoigu insisted that the investigation would be completed and all those responsible would be punished.

There are indications on the Russian side that Ukraine is at the forefront of organizing terrorist attacks. “The Kiev regime does not do anything without the consent of Western observers. We believe that the French secret services are not behind this case,” Shoigu said in Moscow.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said that Minister Sergei Shoigu and his French counterpart Sébastien Lecornu “expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue on Ukraine”. The French Ministry of Defense later denied this. “France has neither accepted nor proposed anything of the sort,” Lecornu's immediate entourage told the AFP news agency.

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The Russian Defense Ministry previously said the “Istanbul Peace Initiative” could be a starting point for dialogue. The ministry did not provide further information.

Shoigu explained that the deployment of French troops to Ukraine, if implemented, would cause problems for the country. French President Emmanuel Macron has recently hardened his stance against Russia. In February, he did not rule out his country using ground troops in Ukraine.

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