Moscow is trying to bypass the European Union by discussing Ukraine solely with the United States, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFM radio Friday.
His assertion echoes the sentiment earlier voiced by EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, who lamented that Brussels "cannot be a neutral spectator in the negotiations" scheduled to take place later in January in Geneva and involve Russia, the US, and NATO.
Le Drian issued a statement
earlier in the week, saying that he, Borrell, and several other top European officials had discussed the tensions concerning Ukraine and highlighted the importance of the bloc's participation in the talks that will impact European security.
As Brussels continues to fume over their lack of involvement in the upcoming security negotiations, reports said that top European officials believe the bloc was made an outsider in the talks due to its internal divisions and weak foreign policy
Moscow and Washington are set to hold talks on 10 January in order to discuss tensions in Ukraine. Two days later, Russian negotiators will meet their NATO counterparts, with Russian security proposals to the alliance expected to be discussed.
The Kremlin's proposals include the demand that NATO refrains from expanding to the east or placing offensive weapons in the countries neighbouring Russia. Washington said it is not going to respond publicly to the proposals, only noting that it is looking for a "meaningful" dialogue with Moscow. According to observers, the White House is not likely to agree to all of them, but a compromise might be possible