France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that if Moscow recognizes two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, it would be an “unarmed attack”.
Russia’s lower house of parliament voted earlier on Tuesday to ask President Vladimir Putin to recognize the self-declared people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, in the region known as Donbass, where separatist forces have been fighting the Ukrainian military since 2014 .
“If this were applied, it would be an impossible situation and would be a kind of unarmed attack. It would be a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a meeting. parliamentary hearing.
France, alongside Germany, Russia and Ukraine, forms the so-called Normandy group, created to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The conflict is part of a wider crisis, with the United States warning that Russia could attack Ukraine at any moment with a force of more than 100,000 soldiers massed near its borders. Russia denies any such plan and accuses the West of hysteria.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday some of its troops were returning to base after exercises near Ukraine and it scoffed at Western warnings of an imminent invasion, but NATO and the United States said they had yet to see any evidence of a de-escalation that could avert war. .
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