MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. The reaction of French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne to the death of French mercenaries in Kharkov is a sign of how little he cares about his fellow citizens, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel.
“A professional minister, or simply anyone who isn’t indifferent, would not be thinking about ‘Russian manipulation’ and deny reality, but would have obtained all information about French citizens. Or has the French government put its people at arms-length?” Zakharova asked in comments on the French top diplomat’s statement in which he accused Russia of “flagrant manipulation” in connection with the summoning of French Ambassador Pierre Levy to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the elimination of French mercenaries in Kharkov.
Zakharova pointed to media reports giving a list of eliminated French mercenaries when Sejourne claimed that there were no mercenaries from his country in Ukraine. “The French Foreign Ministry will again declare that it isn’t interested in what happens to French people, or what?” the diplomat asked.
On January 19, French Ambassador to Russia Pierre Levy was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry over the presence of French mercenaries in Ukraine. He was told that the responsibility for the death of French nationals in Ukraine rested entirely with Paris, “which is encouraging recruiting mechanisms in the country to hire mercenaries to take part in the hostilities on the part of the Kiev regime.”
“The waging of the ‘proxy war’ by the West, including France, and the steady increase in weapons supplies to the Kiev regime provoke an escalation of hostilities, lead to numerous civilian casualties and turn it (France – TASS) into an accomplice to the Kiev regime’s war crimes,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
On Thursday, Reuters and AFP released a French Foreign Ministry statement saying that France has no mercenaries either in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world. The ministry denied Russia’s reports that numerous French mercenaries had been killed in a Russian strike on Kharkov as a “flagrant Russian manipulation” and called for disregarding them.
The Russian defense ministry said earlier that Russian forces had dealt a pinpoint strike on a temporary deployment center for foreign militants in Kharkov. According to the ministry, most of the foreign mercenaries were French nationals. As a result of the strike, 60 militants were killed and more than 20 were wounded.