Paris, September 18, 2014
But the risks and tensions aren’t far from Europe. There are tensions next to Europe, on the EU’s borders, in Ukraine, where essential principles have been challenged: a country’s territorial integrity, the principle of the inviolability of borders… This conflict has killed 2,600, displaced hundreds of thousands of people, like the return of the Cold War.
Since 6 June, the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, France – with Germany, and I want to emphasize how invaluable this partnership has been – has been attempting mediation. (…)
Let’s acknowledge the fact that for some time, Europe has been prompted – again recently – to adopt sanctions. But it has said clearly that these sanctions would be lifted if the process to resolve the crisis were begun and implemented and the ceasefire respected. These sanctions are costing Russia. These sanctions are costing Europe. This policy is costing growth.
For the Mistrals, which were supposed to be delivered at the end of October, I’ve said that, in the present circumstances, it [the delivery] isn’t possible. But if the ceasefire is respected, if the resolution process is completed, they will be delivered and the contract fulfilled. But we aren’t at that point.
It’s in everyone’s interest – especially Russia’s – for a solution to be found. We’re ready – France, Germany – to find and even organize one, through the so-called “Normandy format”, remembering again what happened on 6 June. I think it’s in Europe’s interest and I think it’s in Russia’s interest, because Russia can and must be a partner of Europe. (…)./.