Russia on Thursday urged French authorities to refrain from unjustified use of violence against protesters in New Caledonia.

“We call on Paris to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of the indigenous population of New Caledonia and other overseas territories under its control, and to meet all the high demands that Paris makes to other countries, which, by the way, are completely unreasonable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told a briefing in Moscow.

Zakharova emphasised that the ongoing events in New Caledonia are caused by long-standing contradictions and growing dissatisfaction with the situation of its indigenous residents.

“Indigenous residents make up 40 percent of the population of this overseas territory of France. Another confirmation that France’s policy towards its former colonies, simply literally renamed overseas territories, is reaching a dead end and is truly a continuation of the colonial and imperial thinking of Paris,” she added.