French Defense Minister Says Paris Unwilling To Return To Cold War With Russia

PARIS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 19th December, 2021) French Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Saturday that Western countries can politically isolate Russia if the situation around Ukraine escalates, but added that Paris does not want another Cold War scenario.

When asked by Le Journal du Dimanche magazine about what measures West can take against Russia, Parly said that some sanctions had already been imposed on Moscow, but they can be toughened. Russia can also be "politically isolated," the minister added.

"We do not want to return to the Cold War," Parly stressed, as quoted by Le Journal du Dimanche, and added that to prevent this scenario, the sides should "stay calm."

Parly also noted that Paris is in favor of maintaining the dialogue with Moscow, which was initiated by the French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019.

"Moreover, as part of the meeting between Russian and French defense and foreign ministers last month in Paris, we used the expression of 'large-scale and strategic consequences.' We have an open and sincere dialogue with Russians, because we should be able to convey things straight to each other," Parly said.

Both Ukraine and some Western countries have recently spoken about alleged deployment of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border and accused Moscow of "aggressive actions." Russia refuted all the allegations and stated that it has no intention to invade any country. The allegations are viewed by Moscow as a pretext to sent more NATO's military equipment to Russian borders.