France described a speech to the nation by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine as “paranoid” on Monday, accusing him of breaking promises to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.
Putin’s speech, in which he recognized two Ukrainian separatist regions as independent, mixed “rigid and paranoid” ideas,” a French presidential official said, adding that the Russian leader “had failed to keep promises to Macron”.
The official, who will not be named, said further Russian “military actions” could not be ruled out and added that the EU was preparing a list of Russian entities and individuals who would have to impose sanctions in a “proportional ” response.
Putin had “made a clear choice to break his obligations,” the official said, adding that talks on drafting the sanctions would begin in Brussels on Tuesday.
In an earlier statement, Macron had condemned Putin’s move and called for targeted European sanctions against Russia.
Macron engaged in frenetic diplomacy on Sunday in a bid to broker a summit between Putin and US President Joe Biden to ease rising tensions over Ukraine, which have fueled fears of a Russian invasion of his neighbor.
But the idea has so far received only a lukewarm response from the Kremlin and the future of such diplomatic initiatives remains unclear.
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