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France ready to impose sanctions on Russia in case of further attacks, foreign minister warns


The exceptional number of cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine is highly concerning and any further attacks will lead to massive sanctions, France warned Moscow on Saturday

The warning came as the two sides exchanged views amid escalating military action on the eastern borders of the European region.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian held a telephone call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, warning him of the “consequences” for “contravening commitments made under the recently held Normandy format talks.”

France, which currently holds the presidency of the European Council, will “assume responsibility” in case Moscow further attacks the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In a separate interview with BFMTV news, ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre also reiterated the enforcement of sanctions in the event of an escalation of the armed conflict.

“The sanctions are thought out and considered so that they have an unprecedented impact on the Russian economy," she said, adding that the unprecedented concentration of Russian troops is evidence that “Moscow is prepared to lodge an offensive against Ukraine."

Legendre denied France would send troops to Ukraine, saying Paris support for Kyiv would be reflected only through sanctions.

Paris has, however, offered to send its military to Romania to fight alongside NATO allies, she told BFMTV news.

France emphasized the need for de-escalation through dialogue. Le Drian maintained, “it is up to Russia to choose such a dialogue if it has the sincere will. Today, Russia's deeds and words are out of step.”

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