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French Foreign Ministry: Prospects for Ukraine-Russia talks are unlikely due to Russians' stance to continue war

KYIV. March 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Prospects for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia are unlikely at the moment due to the position of the Russians to continue the war and their narratives that call into question the very existence of Ukraine, Director for Continental Europe at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Frédéric Mondoloni said.

“I was a diplomat in Moscow for four years, I know that it is very difficult to cooperate with the Russians. And now we can state that the Russian narrative is very closed, and it calls into question the very existence and right to exist of Ukraine. That is why I cannot foresee whether any negotiations are possible in the future,” he said, speaking at Ukraine-France Forum on Friday.

According to him, because of Russia’s stance, “it is now obvious that the prospects for negotiations are unlikely.”

Mondoloni also noted the importance of the issue of long-term peace in Europe, since Russia will not disappear.

“Therefore, it is necessary that Ukraine win this war, and only after that we can build a sustainable peace in Europe,” he said.

The diplomat said Russia’s plans failed, but the situation is now difficult.

“We know that very tough fighting continues in the east. But Ukrainians still demonstrate heroism that we can only admire. Now we have the feeling that we are now starting the third phase of the war. Russia thinks that time is playing into its hands, but this is so,” he said.

According to Mondoloni, sanctions against Russia are now beginning to operate and their consequences will begin to influence the decision-making process in Russia.

He said support for Ukraine should be strengthened so that Russia sees the “dramatic nature of its choice.”

“A dramatic choice not only for Ukraine and the world, but also for Russia itself,” Mondoloni said.

At the same time, the diplomat said the only person who can now end the war is Putin, and “it is now impossible to resolve the conflict in any other way,” since Russia seeks to continue the war.

“We are now working on all possible scenarios, but once again: France supports Ukraine today, tomorrow and will do it for as long as necessary,” he said.

On the issue of assistance from France, the diplomat said that now “we are focusing on protecting the Ukrainian sky, on artillery, tanks and training of the Ukrainian military.”

He also recalled the cooperation of France and Ukraine in the issue of documenting military and other crimes of Russia.

“Russia is committing war crimes that are absolutely unacceptable. Many of them have already been documented,” the diplomat said.