Q. – Is Ukraine today part of Russia’s sphere of influence?
THE MINISTER – As far as Ukraine is concerned, there’s got to be clear thinking: what do we want, what don’t we want? We want the crisis in Ukraine not to be resolved through violence and force. So we’re asking Mr Yanukovych and the people around him not to use force, and to respect the people. What we want is for Ukraine to decide freely, without blackmail, and we want, we would like it to opt for the Association Agreement with the European Union.
Q. – Otherwise?
THE MINISTER – Otherwise, we’ll respect its choice but it will mean, from then on, that no closer ties will be possible with the European Union. I occasionally hear inaccurate versions of this: we’re not saying that if Ukraine had closer ties with the European Union it would be against Russia – not at all! It’s totally compatible. (…)./.