France no longer “interested” in talking to “Russian officials” – Executive Digest

The French foreign minister announced today that it was no longer in France's interest to “talk to Russian officials” after a telephone conversation between the Russian and French defense ministers ended in conflicting statements.

“We don't want to talk to the Russian authorities at the moment because the press releases and summaries that are being published are false,” Stephane Sejournay, head of French diplomacy, told France24 and RFI to media from Abidjan. He just finished a tour of Africa.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday denounced the “baroque and ominous remarks” after talks between French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu and Russian Minister Sergei Shoigu last Wednesday aimed at sending the Russians “useful information” about the Moscow attack. By the Russians.

Russia said in a summary of talks initiated by Paris that it believed French secret forces were not involved in the March 22 attack on a concert hall in the suburbs that killed 144 people. Moscow's – a finding denied by Paris.

Before the French can talk to the Russian rulers again, “perhaps it is necessary to establish a relationship of trust – perhaps, above all, there will be an evolution on the military front in Ukraine, so that relations can be resumed. This is not the case yet,” Sejournay said.

Macron justified the initiative for dialogue between the French and Russian defense ministers, saying that after October 2022, France would have “useful information” to send to Russian authorities “about the origin and structure of the attack”. The group is the 'jihadi' Islamic State (IS).

According to the French MNE, the “long-standing tradition with Russia on terrorism issues” has now stalled.

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“In practice, this will not proceed because it is a concession, and the Russian statement in Russian effectively proposes that we will not cooperate,” he concluded.

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