French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre spoke to Jowharon Wednesday about issues ranging from the imprisonment of a Frenchman in Iran over spy allegations to a coup in Burkina Faso this week and the ongoing Ukraine crisis.
The “Normandy Format” talks in Paris on Ukraine gave an “important signal” on Wednesday, Legendre said. The eight-hour talks “managed to agree on several points”, including that the 2015 Minsk Agreement is still relevant to the remaining issues and that a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine should be respected by all sides.
A second meeting is planned for Berlin in two weeks, she noted, possibly offering a way towards “the downsizing we are all looking for”.
The legend reiterated that Russia would have serious consequences for any aggression against Ukraine.
“We have been very clear and very united [within] European Union but also with our allies in NATO … that it would have enormous consequences and a very high price to pay for Russia if they took any action against Ukrainian [territorial] integrity.”
Asked about a military coup in Burkina Faso this week, Legendre said Paris was adamant about releasing ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and a “return to constitutional order”.
The case of Benjamin Brière also caused a diplomatic crisis this week when reports surfaced that Iran had sentenced the Frenchman to eight years in prison for espionage charges.
“We are in very close contact with the family, we have been in contact with them from the beginning,” Legendre said, adding that Brière’s conviction for espionage for taking pictures was completely unfounded and “completely unacceptable.”
Click on the video player above to see the full interview.