French Foreign Minister: “Talks Between Russian and Ukrainian “Declarations But No Action”

FRANCE (March 31, 2022)— In an interview with FRANCE 24 and RFI on Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said talks between Russian and Ukrainian envoys had led to various declarations but “no action”, adding that it was time Russia made some moves toward conciliation. He also warned of an “appalling” situation unfolding in the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine.

The French minister for Europe and foreign affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, answered questions from Roselyne Febvre of FRANCE 24 and Christophe Boisbouvier of RFI (Radio France international).

Russia pledged to “radically reduce” its military activities in the regions of Kyiv and Chernihiv after talks on Tuesday between Russian and Ukrainian envoys in Istanbul. But the promise was met with skepticism from both Ukrainian and Western officials.

“But I see only declarations but no action,” Le Drian said, noting that three weeks of intermittent negotiations have not led to concrete progress on the ground.

Le Drian warned of an “appalling” situation in the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, currently facing a Russian offensive.

“What is happening in Mariupol is appalling and what is going to happen there is Russia’s responsibility,” Le Drian said.

The foreign minister also addressed other pressing international issues, including negotiations on the Iran nuclear programme taking place in Vienna. He said all parties, including Iran, are “in agreement on the content” and that “the signing of an agreement is imminent”.

“It would be a very good thing if we did not add a nuclear proliferation crisis to the war that is taking place in Ukraine,” Le Drian said.

Click on the video player above to watch the full interview.

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