Dialogue must remain open with Russia, Italy’s Defence Minister says

Communications with Russia must remain open despite its attack on Ukraine, Italy’s defence minister said last week, commenting on recent talks between his French and Russian counterparts.

On Wednesday, French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu had a phone conversation with Russia’s Sergei Shoigu – the first since October 2022 – during the course of which France condemned Russia’s “war of aggression” in Ukraine.

France later denied Russian claims that it expressed willingness to hold dialogue on Ukraine or discuss possible peace negotiations when the two countries’ defence ministers spoke on Wednesday.

“Although the Russian Federation has invaded a sovereign country, and for this reason Italy and France always support and will support Ukraine, it is important (…) that channels of confrontation and dialogue are also kept open,” Italy’s Guido Crosetto said in a statement.

Crosetto, who spoke to Lecornu on Thursday, added that “tough and critical” communication, is essential to achieve the goal of stopping the Russian attacks and to be able to “create the conditions for a just peace”.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dialogue-must-remain-open-with-russia-italy-defence-minister-says-2024-04-05/#:~:text=Dialogue%20must%20remain%20open%20with%20Russia%2C%20Italy%20defence%20minister%20says,-By%20Reuters&text=ROME%2C%20April%205%20(Reuters),his%20French%20and%20Russian%20counterparts.