The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Russian Federation (RF) has published a number of diplomatic letters it exchanged with Germany and France to try to show that its diplomatic stance on talks over east Ukraine has been misrepresented, DW reports.
On November 9 France’s foreign ministry said Russia had refused to accept a ministerial meeting with France, Ukraine and Germany to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine and denied that it had failed to respond to proposals made by Moscow.
In a rare response, Russia published 28 pages of diplomatic documents, showing it had said in advance that foreign minister Sergei Lavrov could not take part in the proposed November 11 meeting.
In the first letter, dated October 29, Lavrov told his German and French counterparts that the continuation of meetings under the so-called Normandy format was possible.
Russia attached a draft statement on the “internal Ukrainian conflict” that Russia proposed to publish after the possible Normandy format meeting.
On November 4 French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a joint letter to Lavrov that Moscow’s draft had assessments that Germany and France did not share, such as the portrayal of an “internal Ukrainian conflict” among others.
The European diplomats said they were “looking forward to meeting in person on November 11.”
Lavrov replied two days later, saying he was disappointed by their response to Russia’s proposal. Lavrov said he had informed Le Drian when they met in Rome on October 30 that he already had other working plans for November 11.
Consequently, in Paris, such actions of the Russian Federation were called a step contrary to diplomatic rules and customs. The French Foreign Ministry called on Russia to return to the negotiating table, since in October it refused to participate in resolving the conflict in Donbas.
Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted calmly and restrainedly to the publication of diplomatic correspondence. She noted that it is not surprising that such correspondence will be made public, since many of her letters have also been published.
Despite this position of the chancellor, the Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany reported that they consider such actions of the Russian Federation to be a violation of accepted diplomatic practice and is an act of despair by Russia, which will lead to the opposite result, because the letters clearly show that Germany and France are acting as honest states, and Russia is trying to get the maximum benefit for itself.