French Ambassador to Ukraine Isabelle Dumont told this to reporters on Friday, while commenting on France's refusal to impose new sanctions on Russia for its aggression in the Sea of Azov, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.
"France, as is known, not only supports [already existing] sanctions, but also was one of the parties that introduced them, in cooperation with European and American partners. The importance of this instrument has been recognized, but at the same time, we emphasize the need to continue diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This is why we are focusing on the continuation of the dialogue," Dumont said.
While commenting on the Russian side's refusal to resolve Donbas issues with the current Ukrainian authorities, the diplomat noted that despite the complexity of the situation, work is continuing as part of the Normandy format and the Minsk negotiation process in order to find the necessary solutions.
"This dialogue and work in this framework is rather difficult, but it actually continues. I want to welcome the position of the Ukrainian leadership, which also recognizes the priority of a diplomatic path of finding a way out of this situation," Dumont said.
On November 25, Russian border ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait - the Yany Kapu tugboat, Berdiansk and Nikopol small armored artillery boats – that sailed from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol, as well as 24 sailors.
Following "trial" in Russian-occupied Crimea, all captured sailors were detained, charged with violating the border and taken to Moscow. All of them are currently in jail.
On November 28, the United States called on European countries to impose more effective sanctions against Russia after its aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov.
Germany and France opposed new sanctions against Russia. In particular, at a meeting of the EU's Political and Security Committee in Brussels on November 28, representatives of the two countries called for confidence-building measures between the parties to the conflict. According to Germany and France, sanctions are not part of such measures.
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