France wants to mediate Russia-Ukraine talks to make itself center of attention — Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
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JOHANNESBURG /South Africa – France is offering its services to mediate the Ukrainian crisis is mere grandstanding amid the difficulties Europe is experiencing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters.

“Knowing what is going on in Europe now, it (the desire to mediate – TASS) is probably a desire to make itself the center of attention, a desire to show how active you are and how you need to be supported,” he pointed out.

Lavrov recalled French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent contradictory statements about his intention to supply the Kiev regime with long-range missiles to continue the war with Russia, while at the same time displaying readiness to play the role of a mediator and call Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Ukraine.

“If someone wants to make a contribution to the search for a settlement, they do not use a microphone,” the top Russian diplomat said. “It is done through the appropriate channels,” he added. “Everyone knows this. For what purpose public, boisterous statements are made on one issue or another: that we will be a mediator, that we will give some long-range missiles to be fired on Russian territory – it is very difficult for me to see anything rational in these statements,” Lavrov said.

In this regard, Lavrov pointed to the fact that “France has already been a mediator.” “Mr. Macron’s predecessor, Mr. [Francois] Hollande, was a mediator, a guarantor of the Minsk agreements, and then last year he suddenly said with pride: ‘We didn’t want to fulfill anything there. We had to buy time to pump Ukraine with weapons against Russia,'” Lavrov recalled the former French president’s words, noting that the Minsk agreements had been endorsed by the UN Security Council.

“So when Macron says, ‘Let’s give [Ukraine] long-range missiles,’ it’s the same thing Hollande said when he was a mediator,” the top diplomat summarized.