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Lavrov accuses France of breaching ‘diplomatic etiquette’ over release of Macron-Putin call

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the publication of a call between French leader Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which took place just four days before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, was a breach of “diplomatic etiquette.”

The call was published last week in a documentary “A President, Europe and War,” that sheds light on Macron’s approach to diplomacy with Russia. 

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son, Lavrov said that “diplomatic etiquette does not provide for one-sided leaks of [such] recordings.”

“In principle, we negotiate in such a way that we will never be ashamed. We always say what we think and are ready to answer for our words and explain our position,” Lavrov added.

The call shows Macron on the line with Putin in an attempt to kickstart talks just days before the invasion of Ukraine.

Following the release of the documentary, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said over the weekend that Paris violated the confidentiality of the negotiations with Moscow, denouncing that a filming crew was present when a confidential conversation took place between the Russian and French leaders.

Macron himself has been at the receiving end of having confidential conversations released publicly. Last year, amid the France-Australia feud over the cancellation of a multibillion dollar Australian order of 12 submarines from a French defense contractor, the French accused Australia of leaking an SMS in an apparent bid to imply that Macron knew about the collapse of the major submarine deal. French officials had repeatedly assured they knew nothing of Australia’s intentions to ditch the contract.

The Elysée did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment.

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