Q. – Ukraine is on the brink of civil war – it’s one of the opposition leaders who said it – and the pro-Europeans are scoring points. Should the European Union encourage them, the pro-Europeans, at a time when Vladimir Putin is denouncing foreign interference, including Russian interference? When he says this, do you believe him?
THE MINISTER – I’m in contact with government officials – including the Ukrainian Foreign Minister – and with the opposition leaders. We must try to do everything we can – and France, Germany and others are contributing to this – to restore dialogue. There’s not going to be a drift towards civil war.
That means it’s not either Europe or Russia. The geography is what it is! Russia is next to Ukraine and the EU is also next to Ukraine. So we must find ways to overcome this. That’s what is currently being discussed. There’s already been one good thing: the hated anti-protest laws have been shelved, but the amnesty isn’t complete. We don’t know exactly whether or when elections are going to be held… There must be dialogue; there’s no other solution…
Q. – Do you advise against interfering? Are there too many risks in interfering?
THE MINISTER – No, interfering is a slightly general word. It concerns us, because there are men and women who are being killed, because there’s a regime that’s in great difficulty and acts of violence of all kinds. So you can’t say: it doesn’t concern us. But you must do it without having to choose between Russia and Europe; you must find the paths of dialogue. (…)./.