SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 December 2021, Friday |

France says Russia’s publication of notes breaks diplomatic rules

The publication by Russia of confidential diplomatic correspondence between France, Germany and Russia over Ukraine breaks diplomatic protocol, France said on Thursday, the latest sign of deteriorating ties between Moscow and the West.

On Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry published a number of diplomatic letters it exchanged with Germany and France to try to show that its diplomatic stance on talks over east Ukraine has been misrepresented.

“We consider this approach to be contrary to diplomatic rules and customs,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legndre told reporters.

The publication came after Paris accused Russia of refusing to accept a ministerial meeting with France, Ukraine and Germany to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine and denied that it had failed to respond to proposals made by Moscow.

In a rare response, Russia published 28 pages of diplomatic documents, showing it had said in advance that foreign minister Sergei Lavrov could not take part in the proposed Nov. 11 meeting.

However, the documents published showed serious differences between Russia, France and Germany with Paris and Berlin saying that a draft statement proposed by Moscow had assessments that they did not share, such as the portrayal of an “internal Ukrainian conflict” among others.

Legendre called on Russia to return to the negotiating table and continue discussions, but in the “approved formats and according to agreed principles”.