Jean-Yves le Drian, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed on June 25 the need for the European Union to “speak at a high level” with Russia, despite the refusal of several member states to once again engage in this dialogue. .
“Europe must speak at a high level with Russia”, declared the head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a joint press conference with his American counterpart Antony Blinken, on June 25 in Paris. .
The will of Paris – and of Germany – to relaunch dialogue with Russia through a summit with Vladimir Putin was met with the refusal of several EU member states at a European summit in Brussels. The Baltic countries, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands have opposed the resumption of dialogue with a Russian leader who, according to them, is stepping up aggressive actions against EU countries and those in his neighborhood.
“We see the authoritarian drift of this country which takes different forms […], its drift of intimidation […], its drift of interference, ”said Jean-Yves Le Drian. “In each of these situations, we condemn, we implement sanctions and we have a position of a certain firmness. But all the same, it is important to speak with Russia, without naivety, ”he insisted.
“We have to speak out in order to have strategic and relational stability,” he continued, emphasizing in particular the importance of arms control issues for security in Europe.
“I welcome the fact that we have left a purely reactive logic with regard to Russia”, says Macron
“There are not the Americans who are specialists in dialogue with Russia and the Europeans who are specialists in sanctions. Everyone must do both, ”he said, referring to the summit between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Poutine on June 16 in Geneva.
Logic that turned out to be ineffective
Jean-Yves le Drian had already expressed on April 22 the need for France to have a dialogue with Russia during a visit to France 2 by launching that “we must continue to talk to each other, it is our neighbor: it is quite bulky but it is still there ”. Jean-Yves Le Drian, accustomed to blowing hot and cold on the Russian question, has been pleading for several months to renew a pragmatic dialogue with Moscow. “I welcome the fact that we have come out of purely reactive logic with regard to Russia”, welcomed the same day the French president, describing the mechanics of sanctions against Moscow as “a logic which turned out to be ineffective. “.
The Kremlin for its part expressed its “regrets” after the announcement of the 27. “We know that countries are opposed to this dialogue and we know that it is above all about“ young ”Europeans, the Baltic States , Poland […] and the fact is that these are the same countries that most often speak without foundation of the existence of a certain threat to them from the Russian Federation, ”he added.