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Macron slams Moscow’s claims of French role in terror attack

Earlier, Paris said it had no intelligence linking the Crocus City Hall shooting spree to Kiev

French President Emmanuel Macron has dismissed claims that Paris may have been involved in the Crocus City Hall massacre outside Moscow, speaking to French media on Thursday. In a phone call on Wednesday with his French counterpart, Sebastien Lecornu, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu suggested that Kiev’s Western backers, including Paris, may have been behind the attack.

The terrorist attack in March that shook the country claimed over 140 lives. Armed gunmen stormed a packed music venue just outside the capital. The suspected shooters were apprehended by Russian law enforcement on the way to the Ukrainian border.

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The French and Russian defense ministers talked by phone on Wednesday. During the conversation, Lecornu repeatedly told his Russian counterpart that Western countries and Ukraine had no involvement in the massacre, the Russian MOD reported.

Shoigu replied that he had intelligence to the contrary, saying, “the Kiev regime does nothing without the approval of its Western backers.”

“We hope that in this case the French intelligence services are not behind this,” he added.

Macron called the statements “ridiculous,” “baroque and threatening.” “It makes no sense,” to say that France “could be behind [the Moscow terror attack] and that the Ukrainians are behind it,” the president told the media on Thursday.

He added that the phone call was prompted by Paris’ willingness to share “useful information” as a part of “joint work” among countries affected by terrorism.

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Moscow also maintains that the terrorists had a “window” prepared for them to cross the border into Ukraine. While Islamic State’s Afghanistan-based wing (ISIS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Aleksandr Bortnikov, suggested in March that the US, UK, and Ukraine may have been involved.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Thursday that Kiev’s connection to the case is obvious, “especially since Ukraine’s involvement in other terrorist attacks on Russian soil is no longer in doubt.” He referred to the assassinations of journalists Darya Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky as examples of Kiev’s acts of terrorism.

 

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