Ukraine - Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (9 April 2021)
Today I discussed the situation in Ukraine in calls with the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Dmytro Kuleba, the US Secretary of State, Mr Antony Blinken, and the German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Heiko Maas.
I underlined France’s serious concern and great vigilance as regards the recent significant Russian troop movements near Ukraine’s eastern border and in Crimea. France considers it important and urgent for Russia to provide clarifications on the framework and justifications for these movements, including through OSCE channels. We call on Russia to cease its provocations and to take with no delay the necessary initiatives to initiate a de-escalation.
I recalled France’s full support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. In this context, France underlines that it does not and will not recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. We support the posture of restraint and responsibility adopted by the Ukrainian authorities in this context.
I have told all my colleagues that France will continue its diplomatic efforts, in close liaison with Germany within the Normandy Format, to achieve the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. These efforts remain essential to achieve a de-escalation of tensions and a resolution of the Ukraine crisis.