French FM says preserving dialogue with Russia necessary
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna says it is critical to maintain contact with Moscow in order to collaborate.
On Monday, France's newly appointed Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated that it is critical to maintain dialogue with Moscow in order to convey Paris' position and collaborate on certain issues.
Colonna told French broadcaster LCI that "it is necessary to preserve the dialogue. This is why the President of the Republic maintains dialogue with the Russian president... This channel of communication is not only useful, but certainly necessary to have an opportunity to convey our position and to work together on specific issues."
She also stated that the circumstances for establishing a discussion between Russian and Ukrainian authorities are yet to be established.
Colonna added that although France believes dialogue between Russia and Ukraine should take place, "so far, the prerequisites for it have not been created. I can tell you frankly that it does not seem to me that there are any conditions for future dialogue. It is essential to pursue negotiations to make it possible."
According to the Minister, Paris is concerned about the situation in Ukraine and wants to step up its diplomatic efforts.
Macron and Putin last spoke over the phone on May 3. It lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes, according to French media.
Meanwhile, during Colonna's visit to Ukraine today, where she planned to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky and give over security assets, such as fire engines and ambulances, the Foreign Minister made it clear that French military assistance to Ukraine is still on the table.
In a joint press conference with Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, the French FM stated that military aid for Ukraine will continue and "will be scaled up."
France has contributed over $100 million in aid to Kiev and at least $108 million in military equipment and ammunition, including Milan anti-tank missiles and Caesar howitzers. Early in May, French President Emmanuel Macron committed to enhancing France's overall contribution to Ukraine to up to $2.16 billion this year.