Japan and France pledge to maintain sanctions against Russia and manage the food crisis

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French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to deliver a statement on the tarmac in front of his presidential plane before he departs to visit French NATO troops stationed in Romania, at Paris-Orly airport in Orly, June 14, 2022. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool via PA)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Senior diplomats from Japan and France on Tuesday agreed on the importance of maintaining economic pressure on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, while pledging to work together to support the countries affected by a global supply shortage and rising food prices.

During their telephone talks, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna shared the view that unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force are not acceptable anywhere in the world, said the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was their first official conversation since Colonna took office in mid-May after Emmanuel Macron was re-elected president of France for a second term in April.

The ministers confirmed the importance of the unity of the international community in maintaining sanctions against Moscow and supporting Ukraine, and also agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation on all fronts, according to the ministry.

With Russia’s war since February showing no signs of abating, fears of food shortages in many Asian and African states have increased due to Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian grain exports at Black Sea ports, which has drive up world food prices.

Hayashi and Colonna agreed to intensify cooperation on maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, where China’s military weight has increased, as the security of Europe and the Indo-Pacific are indivisible, said the Japanese ministry.

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