France Blasts Russian Spy Chief's Remarks As 'Irresponsible' Provocation

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Mar 21, 2024 - 08:15 AM

France's defense ministry has angrily denounced remarks made by chief of Russia's foreign intelligence service (SVR). SVR chief Sergey Naryshkin claimed Tuesday that France's Macron is already preparing a large contingent of troops to be sent to Ukraine. "Initially, it will include around 2,000 troops," he had said, but without providing any specific evidence to back the assertion.

France's military condemned the remarks as a "provocation" - with a formal statement saying, "The maneuver orchestrated by Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Russian Foreign Intelligence, once again illustrates Russia's systematic use of disinformation." The defense ministry continued, "We consider this type of provocation irresponsible."


Naryshkin had during an interview with TASS additionally alleged the Paris is covering up the true number of French soldiers who have been killed in Ukraine, fearing that the truth would unleash mass protests by French wishing to avoid major war with Russia.

The Russian intelligence chief hac further said the French military "fears that such a large military unit cannot be transferred and stationed in Ukraine unnoticed."

He also threatened: "It will thus become a legitimate priority target for attacks by the Russian armed forces. This means that it will suffer the fate of all the French who have ever come to the Russian world with a sword."

France recently signed a bilateral long-term security agreement with Ukraine, which includes a pledge to send more long-range cruise missiles. President Macron starting last month unleashed an avalanche of controversy among Western allies by publicly stating that leaders shouldn't be fearful of sending NATO troops to Ukraine.

Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has meanwhile sought to tap down on the controversy while defending Macron. Kuleba said this week, "Macron only meant to say that there is the possibility of training Ukrainian soldiers directly in Ukraine, and not outside as it is happening now." 

He told foreign journalists in a briefing that "What his nation needs from foreign donors are weapons, particularly drones, and not manpower."

Meanwhile, France's chief of Army staff Pierre Schill has written this week that the "French army is ready" - in a provocative op-ed printed in Le Monde.

But many war analysts have said that Western efforts to ramp up arms and money to Kiev are unlikely to make a difference, and that Russia has enough ammo and manpower to sustain the fight possibly for years to come. President Putin this week has floated the idea of creating a security buffer zone to prevent drone and rocket cross-border attacks on Russian territory. This would involve seizing more Ukrainian territory, especially along its northern border areas.