France summons Russian envoy over 'unacceptable' tweets

Official tweets from Russia's Paris embassy showed crude cartoons depicting Europe and the United States



By AFP

Published: Fri 25 Mar 2022, 8:59 PM

France's foreign ministry said Friday it had summoned the Russian ambassador to protest "unacceptable" tweets issued by the embassy in Paris showing crude cartoons depicting Europe and the United States.

"These publications are unacceptable," a ministry spokesperson said after two tweets on Thursday, now deleted. "We said this clearly to the ambassador today. We are making a great effort to maintain a demanding channel of dialogue with Russia and these actions are completely inappropriate."

In one tweet, labelled "European solidarity in action", a row of kneeling people identified as EU member states can be seen licking the bare buttocks of a sinister-looking Uncle Sam character.

In another, two doctors in white coats and hats bearing American and EU insignia can be seen injecting a zombified "Europe" figure with syringes marked "Russophobia", "Neo-Nazism", "Sanctions" as well as "Cancel Culture" and "Covid".

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The drawings, which drew outrage online immediately after their appearance, come at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron is holding regular phone calls with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a bid to find a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine.

"We didn't think the Russian embassy could stoop any lower... but yes it can!" one French Twitter user commented on Thursday in reaction to the cartoons.

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