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European Council/Ukraine/Russia

Published on March 23, 2015
Press conference by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic (excerpts)
Brussels, March 19, 2015

(…)

The second subject was Ukraine, and a very simple rule was laid down: sanctions will be linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. It was an initiative France wanted respected, because France was directly involved in the Minsk agreements.
Along with Germany and of course the European Union, France is seeking to ensure compliance with the Minsk agreements – they’ve been partly implemented, but only partly, and the ceasefire still hasn’t been completely observed – the withdrawal of heavy weapons and the exchange of prisoners. But there are still other stages, and very important ones, especially regarding local elections and border control. So it was essential for a link to be made between sanctions and adherence to the Minsk agreements and their implementation. Chancellor Merkel and I set out this position, we proposed it, and it was accepted by the whole European Council. Those are the two subjects which were on the Council’s agenda. (…)./.

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