The President spoke today to President Vladimir Putin, to whom he again emphasized the particular gravity of the current situation in Ukraine.
He pointed out, equally, that the referendum planned in Crimea on 16 March, preparations for which are continuing in the utmost opacity, has no legal basis.
He asked President Putin to do everything to avoid Crimea’s incorporation into Russia, which would be an annexation unacceptable to the international community.
The French President also recalled the parameters for a way out of the crisis, which have been the subject of many discussions between Russia, the European Union and the United States over the past few days:
Russia must recognize and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and withdraw the troops deployed in Crimea since the crisis.
The organization of the presidential election on 25 May, under international control and in the greatest transparency, will ensure the success of the political transition under way in Ukraine.
A new constitution will subsequently have to be adopted which guarantees complete respect for the rights of the Russian-speaking community and provides for genuine decentralization in the interest of all Ukraine’s regions.
The French President emphasized that there was still time to avoid a needless, dangerous escalation./.