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Russia says France is ready for Ukraine talks, Paris denies it

Russia says France is ready for Ukraine talks, Paris denies it Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (
Author: Maria Kholina

Russia claims that following a telephone conversation between Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his French counterpart Sebastian Lecornu, Paris has expressed readiness to engage in dialogue regarding Ukraine or discuss potential peace talks. However, France denies making any such statement, according to Reuters.

Two years after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that in the conversation between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, that "readiness for a dialogue on Ukraine was noted".

According to Shoigu, discussions could have stemmed from the 2022 talks between Russia and Ukraine in Türkiye, which ended without results.

"It is not true. At no moment did we show any willingness to dialogue on Ukraine or negotiations or anything like that," a source in the French government said.

The French report on the meeting, the first since October 2022 and initiated by Paris, mentions that the conversation centered on heightened terrorist threats following an attack in Moscow, for which ISIS-K, an affiliate of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility.

The Russian statement also mentions that any idea of holding a meeting in Switzerland regarding achieving peace in Ukraine is "pointless" if Russia is not involved. Kyiv proposed holding a "world summit" but said that Russia would not be invited.

Franco-Russian relations have deteriorated in recent months as Paris has bolstered its support for Ukraine, including signing a bilateral long-term security agreement and promising to send more long-range cruise missiles.

Negotiations between Russia and France

The French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu held a telephone conversation with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. This conversation between the heads of departments marked the first since October 2022.