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France says it is no longer in its “interest” to talk to Russia



France Says No Longer In Its

Macron angered Moscow in February by suggesting that Western troops could be deployed to Ukraine.


France’s foreign minister said on Monday it was no longer in Paris’s “interest” to talk to Russia, after several stories emerged from a rare phone call about last month’s deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall.

“It is not in our interest at this time to hold talks with Russian officials because the statements and summaries issued about them are lies,” Stephane Sejourne told broadcasters France24 and RFI.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week denounced what he called Russia’s “bizarre and threatening” tone after a conversation between French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

France said Lecornu wanted to pass on “useful information” to Moscow about the March 22 attack, which killed more than 140 people near the Russian capital.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Lecornu’s ministry had reported that France was prepared to increase exchanges in the fight against ‘terrorism’.

But Russia responded by warning France that it hoped French secret services were not involved in the attack, according to a readout from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Before France can talk to the Russians again, “we may first have to gain trust, and perhaps above all allow the military situation on the ground in Ukraine to develop to allow a renewal of relations. This is not currently the case,” Sejourne said.

Macron angered Moscow in February by suggesting that Western troops could be deployed to Ukraine, which Russia invaded two years ago.

Sejourne concluded that the “long tradition with Russia of cooperation on terrorism” had now come to a standstill.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)