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Iryna Herashchenko - First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, member of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to PACE
Speaking about the opportunity of the visit of Russian leader to France, French President allowed himself a rather strict evaluation, even undiplomatic remarks when he said that he was not going to accompany the Russian president at the event where he was to take part. This means a serious position of France, which is not going to tolerate Russia’s position on Syria. This is an important signal for Russia.
French President reiterated the French position, stating that there should be a parallel between process of security and politics. In his speech, a lot of attention was paid to the security aspect. We insist on not parallel processes and in sequence. The first is security unit. Second is humanitarian. Only then can you move on to the political bloc. Ukraine insists on creating 5th group in Minsk at the border, and we did talk tough on those meetings.
Boryslav Bereza - unaffiliated deputy, member of Ukrainian delegation in PACE
Francois Hollande showed that he is a politician who going to leave. He began his speech saying that Russia is aggressive concerning Donbas and Aleppo. He said that Crimea is Ukraine. He said that he is ready to spend much time with Merkel to restore peace in Ukraine. He spoke about the integrity of Ukraine. Then very gently moved to the fact that is could be solved diplomatically. Then he talked about elections in Donbas.
Another issue that Hollande raised, was the issue of Syria and refugees. France is afraid of refugees. Refugees fled through France, through Germany and fill the local markets, they just overwhelm France. That is what scares Hollande, precisely because for him the issue of Syria is in the first place.
Ukraine needs to remember that we must restore peace. The territorial integrity should be restored only under the interests of Ukraine. We should not give anyone to anyone. If the choice is to go by Bosnian or Croatian path, the better for us is Croatian scenario. The exchange of Ukraine on Syria is unacceptable.
Oleksiy Honcharenko - deputy head of Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE
Speaking about the positive things, we have a clear position, Crimea is Ukraine; Russia is responsible for starting a war in Donbas. Russia is also accused of the barbaric bombing of Aleppo. On behalf of the European Conservatives, I managed to ask Hollande some questions. I asked Hollande, considering war crimes in Syria, Crimea, destroying the "Boeing," detention of Sushchenko, to cancel the meeting. I heard that Hollande told Putin about the impossibility of a personal meeting in these circumstances, and after that, Putin refused. I regard this as a positive response to Ukraine.
Olena Sotnyk - Member of "Samopomich," member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE
The speech was rather devoted to the challenges facing France. Ukraine has got three offers in this speech, which Hollande clearly outlined the steps of Minsk. Very strange, but now these steps are reduced to a cease-fire, security. and elections in the occupied territories...
One of the leaders of the EU negotiators today is either confused, or just does not see where we are moving in the talks.
This is a cynical approach: "Take that offer or nothing…"
Serhiy Sobolev - deputy head of the "Fatherland," member of the Ukrainian delegation in PACE
He used all the “key words:” annexation of territory and seize of the lands. But where reached on what to do next, stopping only at the Minsk agreements, without establishing the fact that Russia rejects them. Unpleasant moment, he uttered, perhaps, that the elections should take place, and should take part both Ukrainian and Russian parties.
It pretty well describes what is in the minds of politicians. Speech itself is not bad, but it was rather a statement of facts and nothing more...