The Russian ambassador to France, Alexei Mechkov, was summoned to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday February 5 following the death of two French humanitarian workers in Russian strikes in Ukraine on February 2, the Quai d'Orsay confirmed.

“On this occasion, France will reiterate its strong condemnation of the Russian strikes which killed two French nationals working for a non-governmental humanitarian organization in Ukraine and injured three other of our nationals,” said the deputy spokesperson for the ministry during a briefing.

“She will also denounce the resurgence of disinformation targeting France,” he added.

The Russian attack last Thursday on the town of Berislav, in southern Ukraine, killed two French people and injured three others.

The two victims were members of Swiss Protestant Entraide (EPER), the NGO said on Friday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected in Ukraine at the end of the month, then denounced "a cowardly and unworthy act".

Two French humanitarian workers were killed in Ukraine by a Russian strike. Cowardly and unworthy act. I think of their injured loved ones and comrades.

My solidarity goes to all the volunteers who are committed to helping the populations.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) February 2, 2024

As the war in Ukraine approaches its second anniversary, relations between Paris and Moscow were already frosty. They have deteriorated further in recent weeks, as France has strengthened its support for Ukraine, notably by promising to send additional long-range cruise missiles to kyiv.

Another subject of tension, France accuses Russia of seeking to harm it by regularly spreading false information about it. At the end of January, following accusations from parliament and Russian media, Paris had to deny the presence of French mercenaries in Ukraine.

Paris also accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of spreading disinformation by suggesting that missiles that downed a Russian plane carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war could have come from a French air defense system.

With Reuters

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