France In the midst of ongoing supply chain disputes has accused the United Kingdom of "blackmail" over its handling of Covid-19 vaccine exports.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was asked if the EU had been "scammed" when millions of doses were sent to the UK as its own rollout failed, reports the BBC.
The minister told France Info radio, "We need to build a co-operative relationship," adding, "But we cannot deal this way."
France has demanded that the EU enforce tighter export controls.
Vaccine rollouts have been slow across the EU, with the EU blaming pharmaceutical companies - especially AstraZeneca - for failing to deliver promised doses. AstraZeneca has denied that it is not fulfilling its contract obligations.
By the end of March, the EU expects to receive about 30 million AstraZeneca doses, less than a third of what it had hoped for.
Meanwhile, the UK's vaccine campaign has done better than that of the EU's 27 member states.
Following a virtual summit in which EU leaders addressed vaccine supplies on Thursday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc was the "country that exports the most vaccines worldwide" and urged other nations to "balance our openness."
She also claimed that AstraZeneca would "catch up" on EU deliveries before exporting doses to other countries.
What has France said?
The EU "shouldn't be paying the price" for the UK's vaccination policy, Le Drian said on Friday.
He also chastised the UK's approach to buying vaccinations, saying that the country was under duress because it didn't have enough doses to supply second shots.
"The United Kingdom has taken great pride in vaccinating well with the first dose except they have a problem with the second dose," he said.
"One can't play with blackmail," he added. "You can't be playing like this."
The foreign minister did not specify what he considered to be blackmail, but earlier this week UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that strict EU export controls could negatively hit investment in member states.
"I would just gently point out to anybody considering a blockade... that companies may look at such actions and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments," he said.