Q : The United States and NATO responded to Moscow’s security demands. What concrete actions does France expect from Russia?
A : In response to the proposals issued by the Russian authorities this past December, several written proposals were formally conveyed to Russia yesterday. One was from the NATO allies and was discussed and agreed upon by its 30 members. The other was from the United States, and was drafted on the basis of close coordination between U.S. authorities and the country’s European allies and partners, including France.
The Europeans, with the full involvement of France, made substantive, important contributions to these two coordinated, coherent texts. These responses included concrete proposals and established the basic parameters for a rigorous dialogue that we are collectively prepared to have with Russia on European stability and security. These parameters are well known and concern both the major principles of European security as defined in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris, and the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement in Ukraine. They also relate to the priorities we are pursuing in order to revive arms control negotiations on nuclear and conventional weapons and to strengthen the transparency and predictability of military activities. These various proposals concerning European security and stability should be discussed in such relevant fora as the Normandy Format, the NATO-Russia Council and the OSCE, with full European involvement.
As President Macron and the Foreign Minister noted in recent days, we stand ready with our EU and NATO allies and partners in total unity to engage in a serious, rigorous dialogue with Russia on this basis. We believe it can still contribute to de-escalating tensions. In that regard, the joint statement issued yesterday by the Advisors to the N4 Heads of State and Government – the first in this format since December 2019 – signals a revival of the negotiations.