Statement by Jean-Yves Le Drian – Working meeting with the German Foreign Minister, the US Secretary of State and the British Deputy Minister (20.01.2022)

Berlin, January 20, 2022

I attended a meeting this morning in Berlin with my German counterpart, Mrs Annalena Baerbock, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the British Deputy Minister, James Cleverly.

We discussed the issue of the current tensions with Russia and the issue of dialogue with Russia. I recalled France’s strong support for respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the unequivocal position expressed by the Member States of the European Union during the European Council last December on the enormous consequences and serious costs that would arise from any further damage to it. . In the continuity of the exchanges that took place during the Brest Gymnich at the end of last week, I indicated that the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday 24 January will be an opportunity to deepen the exchanges of 27 on this issue. This is a priority of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

I also mentioned France’s contribution to the security of our allies, in particular within the framework of NATO’s reaction forces system and its rapid reaction force, as well as the strengthened presence in the Baltic states. I indicated that this contribution would be maintained and that we were ready to carry out new missions in Romania, depending on the decisions taken collectively within the framework of the Alliance, as the President of the Republic indicated yesterday during his good wishes to the armies.

I stressed, with regard to the dialogue with Russia, the importance of carrying out challenging exchanges with Moscow in all formats started last week, in particular in the framework of the Normandy format, in the framework of American strategic stability, in the NATO / Council. Russia and the OSCE. In each of these formats, Europeans are playing their full role, in a united and supportive way. In this regard, I recalled the fundamental priorities shared with our allies and partners, which reflect our security interests in order to fuel this collective dialogue with the Russians, whether it be respecting the fundamental principles of Helsinki and the Charter of Paris, of strategic stability, the control of nuclear and conventional weapons, the transparency and predictability of maneuvers and exercises or the effective implementation of the Minsk agreements in Ukraine. On the basis of these agreements reviewed at the Paris Summit in December 2019, it should be possible to proceed.

In this regard, on security issues affecting Europe, it is normal for Europeans to consult and maintain close coordination with our allies and partners, because nothing concerning European security can be discussed and decided without full involvement. of Europeans. I fully agree with what Secretary of State Antony Blinken says when he says that “there will be nothing of Europe and its security without Europe”. You still have to remember this, so do it.

As the President of the Republic indicated yesterday in Strasbourg, it is a question of making proposals aimed at building a new order of security and stability in accordance with our collective security interests, “to be built among Europeans and then to be shared with our allies in the within the framework of NATO, to then propose it to Russia for the negotiation. “It is a question of cultivating a path of collective and united transatlantic dialogue in which Europeans assume all their responsibilities and occupy their full place with their NATO allies on a subject that directly affects their own safety.

We have finally addressed the Iranian nuclear issue. Almost two months have passed since the negotiations in Vienna resumed. We share the same observation with my colleagues: there is progress, partial, timid and slow, but the negotiations cannot continue at such a slow pace, while at the same time the Iranian nuclear program is advancing so rapidly. We will soon find ourselves in an unsustainable situation. I would be tempted to say that JCPoA is in a vital emergency. With Russia and China, our determination for everyone to return to their commitments, but we will not be able to do so if Iran continues on this trajectory of slowness, of patience in the negotiations that also allows it to undo its commitments under JCPoA, otherwise the present contract will be terminated.

Elvira Parkinson

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