(EU Observer) – France: EU-Russia sanctions ‘must stop now’ – By Andrew Rettman
BRUSSELS – French leader Francois Hollande has dangled the prospect of lifting EU sanctions on Russia ahead of the year’s first Ukraine crisis summit.
“I think the sanctions must stop now. They must be lifted if there is progress. If there is no progress the sanctions will remain”, he said on France Inter radio on Monday (5 January).
“[Russian president] Mr Putin doesn’t want to annex eastern Ukraine. He’s told me that … what he wants is to remain influential. What he wants is for Ukraine not to fall into the Nato camp”, he added, referring to his impromptu meeting with Putin at a Moscow airport in December.
Hollande spoke on France Inter for two hours in a Q&A dominated by French economic problems.
His remarks come ahead of a summit of French, German, Russian, and Ukrainian leaders – the so-called Normandy format – in Kazakhstan on 15 January.
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