France is not ruling out the introduction of military sanctions against Moscow in connection with a statement by the Kremlin on Crimea's accession to Russia, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said this at a press briefing on Wednesday, Ukrinform reported.
"The Crimean referendum is illegal, it contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine and has no legal consequences. It [the introduction of military sanctions] will definitely be done if necessary and will be determined collectively. The heads of state and government will convene on Thursday for a meeting of the European Council and take further decisions identical to the decision of the Russian authorities," he said. He said that the EU countries, in particular, France, considered Crimea part of Ukraine. At the same time, the diplomat noted that France and its European partners had relied on diplomacy and dialogue and wanted to hear from Russia clear signals that would indicate de-escalation and respect for international law. "Our goal is to maintain international relations with Russia on the basis of international law and the UN Charter. We want de-escalation and renewal of trust," Nadal said. He said that this demanded that Russian troops return to the places of their permanent deployment, bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia be observed, freedom of movement of OSCE observers in Ukraine be ensured, and an international contact group be created. Earlier, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that his country, together with European partners, was ready to resort to the so-called third level of sanctions, which foresees the termination of cooperation in military-technical and economic spheres. In particular, the issue concerned the termination of a contract for the supply to Russia of two Mistral amphibious assault ships worth EUR 1.2 billion.