France condemns Russia's summons of envoy through diplomatic channels as ‘manipulation’


France condemned the summons of its ambassador to the Russian Foreign Ministry and called the situation "manipulation" through diplomatic channels, according to a statement by the French Foreign Ministry dated May 7.

Moscow summoned the French ambassador on May 6, but at first did not give a reason. Later, the Kremlin claimed it was due to statements by French President Emmanuel Macron about the possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine. The French Foreign Ministry strongly condemned Russia and accused the aggressor of "manipulating information and intimidation."

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"France notes that diplomatic channels are once again being abused to manipulate information and intimidate," the French ministry said in a statement.

The Russian ministry has once again started shifting responsibility and is carrying out its aggressive maneuvers aimed at destabilizing European countries, in particular through cyberattacks and hybrid actions.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the French authorities want to "create some strategic uncertainty for Russia by their statements about the possible deployment of Western troops to Ukraine." They also threatened that these statements are "doomed to failure."

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Possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine

After a conference in support of Ukraine held in Paris on Feb. 26, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Ukraine's Western allies would form a coalition to provide the Ukrainian Armed Forces with long-range weapons, and that sending Western troops to Ukraine in the future could not be ruled out.

In response to Macron's statements, a number of NATO members publicly rejected the idea of sending troops to Ukraine. Among them were Poland, the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas did not reject the possibility of sending troops, but clarified that it was only a training mission. General Onno Eichelsheim, Chief of Defense of the Netherlands, said that "no option should be ruled out."

European NATO member states had been studying the possibility of sending NATO troops to Ukraine for weeks, the AFP news agency quoted a source as saying.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal clarified on Feb. 29 that French troops could participate in the war on the side of Ukraine to protect certain lines, take part in exercises or ground air defense. He ruled out the participation of French soldiers in battles "directly on the front line."

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on April 4 that NATO foreign ministers have agreed to create a special mission of the Alliance to increase support for Ukraine.

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