France: Putin tries to circumvent the European Union with the Ukrainian crisis

While the Ukrainian crisis is still at a standstill, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian revealed on Friday that Russia is trying to outflank the European Union through direct talks with the United States on the crisis.

In statements on BFM television and RMC radio, Le Drian said the Russian president wants to create holes in the European Union, which is strengthening, as he said.

He also stressed that “the security of the European Union cannot be imagined without the Europeans”.

“Putin has proposed a kind of return to the spheres of influence that were in the past, which means that Russia restores the spirit of Yalta,” said Le Drian, referring to the conference held by the Allies in World War II, which has permission to the former Soviet Union to control neighboring countries in Eastern Europe.

US-Russia talks

In parallel, talks between the United States and Russia will begin in Geneva on Monday, after weeks of tension over the deployment of Russian forces near the border with neighboring Ukraine, and diplomats from both sides will try to avoid a crisis during the talks.

In turn, French President Emmanuel Macron said in a press conference that intends to hold talks with Putin soon to discuss issues including Ukraine, but did not go into details, nor did he mention the possible date of such talks.

Russian forces on the border with Ukraine

Interestingly, Russia has deployed around 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, but says that this does not mean preparing for the invasion of Ukraine, but rather a desire for the West to stop supporting the Kiev government and he called for security guarantees that NATO will no longer expand east.

Russia annexed Crimea on the Black Sea from Ukraine in 2014, prompting the West to impose sanctions on Moscow and condemn the move. And Kiev wants to restore Crimea.

Interestingly, France has just taken over the rotating presidency of the European Union, which lasts for six months.

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