Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault spoke by phone today with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the crises in Syria and Ukraine.
The two ministers examined the situation in Syria.
They agreed that the cessation of hostilities agreement must be effectively respected in order for political negotiations—slated to resume in Geneva on February 20, under the auspices of the United Nations—to be successful. They reaffirmed their support for the mediation effort conducted by the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy, Staffan de Mistura, with the aim of achieving a political transition in line with UN Security Council resolution 2254.
They also discussed the situation in Ukraine. Mr. Ayrault expressed his deep concern over the resumption of fighting in eastern Ukraine in recent days. He called on his Russian counterpart to do everything in his power to end that situation, and first and foremost, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to civilian populations. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development stressed the importance of the Normandy format in pursuing the political process, the only thing that can bring about a long-term solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbass region.