Russia-Ukraine – Communiqué from Jean-Yves Le Drian (Jan 5, 2022)


I have spoken with my counterparts in Germany, Ms Annalena Baerbock, Italy, Mr Luigi Di Maio, and Poland, Mr Zbigniew Rau, the latter Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE since 1 January, as well as with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell, to discuss the current tensions with Russian and the Ukraine issue. These discussions followed those on 29 December with the American, German and British Foreign Ministers.

I highlighted the importance of close coordination between Europeans ahead of the discussions in various formats planned for the coming week, as well as with an eye on the informal meeting of Foreign Ministers of the European Union that I will host in Brest on 13 and 14 January under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In this respect, I stressed the responsibility of the Europeans to contribute and participate actively, through tangible proposals, to preparing and conducting these talks with Russia in which their own security interests are at stake. Demanding dialogue with Russia, based on parameters that we deem to be in line with our collective security interests, is useful and necessary to enhance strategic stability in Europe.

I reminded my colleagues, as the Heads of State and Government of the European Union did at the European Council meeting in December 2021, that any further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and come at a high cost in response, including restrictive measures in coordination with partners. We will thus continue close coordination between Europeans and in the transatlantic relationship.

Lastly, I discussed France’s continued efforts within the Normandy Format to achieve de-escalation of tensions in and around Ukraine and to move forward towards the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which remain the only agreed basis for a lasting solution to the Ukraine crisis. Our efforts alongside Germany to achieve that remain total and will continue in the coming days and weeks.