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France’s defense chief Lecornu breaks 1.5-year silence, calls Russia’s Shoigu

Despite Russian officials being largely barred from the West due to the war in Ukraine, Lecornu’s call stands out as a significant gesture.
France's defense chief Lecornu breaks 1.5-year silence, calls Russia's Shoigu
France’s Defense Minister, Sébastien Lecornu. Photo: Lecornu via X/Twitter
France’s defense chief Lecornu breaks 1.5-year silence, calls Russia’s Shoigu

France’s Defense Minister, Sébastien Lecornu, made a phone call to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, for the first time in 1.5 years, as announced by the French Defense Ministry. This marked their first conversation since October 2022.

Though Russian officials are largely barred from the West due to the Ukraine war, Lecornu’s call is a notable gesture.

The French Defense Ministry said Lecornu condemned the 22 March Crocus Hall shooting, expressed solidarity with victims, and stressed France’s condemnation of Russia’s “aggressive war” in Ukraine. 

“He confirmed that France has no information that would establish a link between this attack and Ukraine. He called on Russia to stop any instrumentalization [of this event],” the communiqué stated.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not report on the call. 

Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron said France believes the Islamic State planned and executed the Crocus Hall attack that killed 144, warning Russia against blaming Ukraine.

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