The Daily Press Briefing

Statements made by
the Ministry for Europe
and Foreign Affairs
Spokesperson


Paris - March 23, 2022
In this issue:

◢  Meeting of foreign ministers from the Weimar Triangle countries (March 22, 2022)

◢  Russia – France condemns the sentencing of Aleksei Navalny and the confirmation of Memorial's liquidation and applauds the courage of the Russian civil society activists who are being unjustly persecuted and sentenced for their ideas (March 23, 2022)

◢  Israel – France condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack committed on March 22 in the city of Beersheba (March 23, 2022)

◢  Black Sea

 
Meeting of foreign ministers from the Weimar Triangle countries (March 22, 2022)

On March 22, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs spoke via video conference with his German and Polish counterparts, Annalena Baerbock and Zbigniew Rau. Their conversation took place within the Weimar Triangle format.

The ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine and their ongoing cooperation within this format, particularly in light of the European Council meeting on March 24 and 25. They reaffirmed their utter condemnation of Russia's military aggression in Ukraine and Russian military action taken against civilians and population centers in violation of international humanitarian law. They called for an immediate, total ceasefire throughout all of Ukraine, which is the only way to initiate serious negotiations to end the conflict.

The ministers stressed the importance of pursuing European efforts to raise the toll for Russia's continued war against Ukraine and discussed additional measures they could take for that purpose. They expressed their determination to support the Ukrainian people and government, underscoring the need for the EU and its member states to continue providing financial, material and humanitarian support to Ukraine and its neighboring countries.

Faced with the arrival of massive numbers of refugees from Ukraine, the ministers noted the exceptional solidarity shown by Poland and EU member states in welcoming these refugees and stressed the need to step up EU support for those countries, especially Moldova.

The ministers agreed to continue their dialogue in this format.



Russia – France condemns the sentencing of Aleksei Navalny and the confirmation of Memorial's liquidation and applauds the courage of the Russian civil society activists who are being unjustly persecuted and sentenced for their ideas (March 23, 2022)

We strongly condemn the nine-year prison sentence and 1.2 million ruble fine imposed against the opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny by Moscow's Lefortovo court on March 22.

The Russian authorities' decision attests to the legal harassment of Mr. Navalny, his family and his close collaborators. The arrest of Mr. Navalny's lawyers, Olga Mikhailova et Vadim Kobzev, following the trial is highly concerning and demonstrates the pressure that is being exercised against the defense.

We maintain that Mr. Navalny did not receive a fair trial and does not belong in prison. Once again, we call on the Russian authorities to release him.

We likewise condemn the decision by the Russian Federation's Supreme Court to reject a request to delay the liquidation of the NGO Memorial International.

We applaud the courage of Mr. Navalny, the members of Memorial and all the civil society activists in Russia who are being unjustly persecuted and sentenced for their ideas.



Israel – France condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack committed on March 22 in the city of Beersheba (March 23, 2022)

France condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack committed on March 22 in the city of Beersheba, Israel, in which four people were killed and several others were wounded. Nothing will ever justify violence or terrorism.

France offers its condolences to the victims' loved ones and wishes those who were wounded a prompt recovery.



Black Sea

Might France send military vessels to the Black Sea, or is the permission of Turkish authorities the deciding factor?

The access and transit of military vessels to the Black Sea is governed by the Montreux Convention. France abides by these clear rules, which are universally accepted.


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