France's foreign minister said Monday it was no longer in Paris's "interest" to talk to Russia after differing accounts emerged from a rare phone call about last month's deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall.

"It is not in our interest currently to hold discussions with Russian officials because the statements and the summaries issued about them are lies," Stephane Sejourne told broadcasters France24 and RFI.

French President Emmanuel Macron last week slammed what he termed Russia's "bizarre and threatening" tone following a conversation between French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.

France said Lecornu had aimed to pass on to Moscow "useful information" about the March 22 attack which killed more than 140 people near the Russian capital.

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The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Lecornu's ministry had reported him as saying France was ready to step up exchanges to battle "terrorism".

But Russia responded by warning France it hoped the French secret services had not been involved in the attack, according to a readout from the Russian defence ministry.

Before France can talk to the Russians again, "perhaps we must first establish trust, perhaps above all have the military situation develop on the ground in Ukraine to enable a renewal of relations. This is not currently the case," said Sejourne.

Macron in February infuriated Moscow by suggesting Western troops could be deployed in Ukraine, which Russia invaded two years ago.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 18 May 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 18 May 2024

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Sejourne concluded that the "long tradition with Russia of cooperation on terrorism" had now come to a standstill.

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Comments (3)

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Bob Boomehauer
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the French were probably told that weapons manufacturers needed to make next quarters numbers, peace be damned.

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John
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Well done France.

Inviting anyone from putin's regime to talk about anything Ukraine related is pointless. Probably equally pointless to talk to them about anything. These are thugs. They only respond to physical defeat.

Same with putins MRGA minions elsewhere (Putinrump, fico, orban..etc). None are interested in acting morally or legally. What of use could possibly come from inviting them into your home.

Viva la France. Slava Ukraini!

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David
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President Macron, Ministers Lecornu and Sejourne, I am very pleased that you are all still sane and rational in a world increasing affected and mentally changed by Russian propaganda. Shoigu is clearly panicking and trying to sound that he is convinced of the FSB lies he is trying to spread. French support for Ukraine is demonstrating real leadership in a very uncertain world. Keep up the good work in the name of Liberté, Egalité et Fraternité. Vive la France and victory to Ukraine.

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