PARIS (TASS): French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will inform his EU colleagues at a meeting in Brussels on November 15 about the talks that took place earlier in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the “2 + 2” format. This is stated in a statement by the French Foreign Ministry released on Sunday.
“Jean-Yves Le Drian will inform his European colleagues about the exchanges that, together with the Minister of the Armed Forces of France [Florence Parley], he held with his Russian counterparts in Paris on November 12, and which, in addition to the Sahel, were focused on Belarus and Ukraine,” in the statement. “On the occasion of the holding of the EU Council [at the level of foreign ministers] Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Heiko Maas will hold talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba,” the statement said.
On November 12, the French Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting of the Russian-French Security Cooperation Council. Russia was represented by Foreign and Defense Ministers Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, while France was represented by Minister for European and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly. The meeting lasted more than two hours. The agenda of the meeting included issues of strategic stability, the state of relations between the EU and NATO with Russia and regional issues – the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iran, Libya.
The format of the dialogue between the diplomatic and defense departments of Russia and France within the framework of the Security Cooperation Council was created in 2002. Such consultations were regularly held until 2014, when, at the initiative of Paris, the meeting scheduled for March of that year was postponed due to the situation in Ukraine. Work in this format resumed only in September 2019 in Moscow. As a result of the meeting that took place then, after an almost five-year break, the parties confirmed their intention to continue the dialogue in this format.
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