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Russia summons French ambassador over anti-Kremlin remarks

French Foreign Minister to Russia Stephane Sejourne

Russia has summoned France’s ambassador to Moscow after French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne made “unacceptable” comments against the Kremlin.

On Monday, Sejourne stated that France had no intention of engaging in discussions with the Kremlin, following conflicting reports from a recent phone call between the Russian and French defense ministers.

In a statement, the Russian foreign ministry denounced the “deliberate act” by Sejourne to the French ambassador Pierre Levy, stating that his statements were unacceptable and completely detached from reality.

“In connection with recent statements made by… Sejourne about France’s lack of interest to hold talks with Russian officials since their either published or announced statements allegedly contain false information, the French ambassador was reprimanded over making such statements, as they have nothing to do with the real state of affairs,” the ministry stated.

“We consider statements made by the French foreign minister as a conscious and deliberate action by the French side to undermine any possibility to have a dialogue between the two countries,” the statement added.

The ministry emphasized that this act was aimed at sabotaging any potential dialogue between the two countries.

Russia regards these remarks as a conscious and thoughtful action of the French side, aimed at undermining the very possibility of any dialogue between the two countries, the statement said.

The call for the French ambassador marks the latest in a string of disputes between the two nations, whose diplomatic ties have worsened since the beginning of the year, amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Russia also declared that it summoned Slovenian ambassador Darja Bavdaz Kuret on Friday to inform her about the expulsion of a Slovenian diplomat as a response to a previous decision made by Ljubljana in March against a Russian representative.

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday that it had reciprocated by expelling Austrian ambassador Werner Almhofer after Vienna expelled two Russian diplomats. In return, Moscow expelled an Austrian diplomat.

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