France To Host Russian Defence, Foreign Ministers For Talks

France to host Russian defence, foreign ministers for talks

Paris, Nov 9 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Nov, 2021 ) :France will host Russia's foreign and defence ministers for talks in Paris Friday on the situation in Ukraine, Russia's activities in the Sahel region of West Africa and the Iranian nuclear programme, the French government said on Tuesday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Defence Minister Florence Parly will meet their Russian counterparts Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu on the sidelines of a conference on Libya, their offices said in a joint statement.

The meeting in the so-called "2+2" format of foreign and defence ministers will be the first such encounter since the 2020 poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny sparked a new low in relations between Russia and the West.

France cancelled a similar meeting it was due to host with Lavrov and Shoigu in September 2020 in the aftermath of the poisoning.

Western countries accused Moscow of using a nerve agent to try to kill Navalny, who is now in prison in Russia following treatment in Germany.

But French President Emmanuel Macron has long sought a dialogue with President Vladimir Putin, considering it unwise to shun Russia on the international arena.

"This meeting is part of the demanding dialogue that France continues with Russia," the statement from the French foreign and defence ministries said.

It said that the French ministers would notably raise concerns over Russian actions in the Sahel region of Africa, where observers believe Russian mercenaries are now operating in an area where French troops are deployed.