Russia publishes Ukrainian diplomatic correspondence with France and Germany – EURACTIV.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday (November 17) published a series of diplomatic letters it exchanged with Germany and France to show that its diplomatic stance on the talks on eastern Ukraine was misrepresented.

Ukraine and Russia have been enemies since 2014 when Moscow captured the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and supported a rebellion in the east. Major fighting ended in a ceasefire that was agreed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in 2015, but civilians, Ukrainian soldiers and separatists are still sporadically killed.

Tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine have recently increased amid reports of Russia’s military build-up near the Ukrainian border. Russia denied such allegations, saying it posed no threat and could move its troops across its territory as needed.

On November 9, the French Foreign Ministry said Russia had refused to accept a ministerial meeting with France, Ukraine and Germany to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine and denied that it had not responded to Moscow’s proposals.

In a rare response, Russia released 28 pages of diplomatic documents showing that it had said in advance that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would not be able to attend the scheduled November 11 meeting.

In the first letter of October 29, Lavrov informed his German and French counterparts that the meetings could be continued in the so-called Normandy format.

Russia attached a draft declaration on the “Ukrainian internal conflict” that Russia wanted to publish in Normandy format after the possible meeting.

On November 4, the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas declared in a joint letter to Lavrov that Moscow’s draft contained assessments that Germany and France do not share, such as the portrayal of an “internal conflict in Ukraine” . .

European diplomats said they would “look forward to a face-to-face meeting on November 11th”.

Lavrov replied two days later, saying he was disappointed with their reaction to Russia’s proposal. Lavrov said he informed Le Drian at their meeting in Rome on October 30th that he already had other work plans for November 11th.

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