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Signing Minsk agreements in 2015, Putin threatened to 'smash Ukrainian army', - Hollande's memoirs

A Ukrainian outlet published some of the reminiscences from the former French president's book, where Hollande also expressed confidence that Russia was behind the MH17 tragedy
08:05, 31 August 2018

gazprom.ru

As Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany signed Minsk agreements in February 2015, Russian leader Vladimir Putin was very nervous; he and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko got into a verbal conflict, raising voice at each other all the time. The Russian president began to threaten to smash the Ukrainian army. This and much more is revealed in the book by Francois Hollande, the ex-French leader. Tyzhden, the famous Ukrainian outlet published some of the reminiscences from the former French president's book. 

'How one cannot remember that long night on February 11-12, 2015, which we spent at the largest soulless hall of the Independence Palace in Minsk, Belarus? It was amidst the crisis, which Ukraine experienced after the removal pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych from power, due to his refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the EU', Hollande wrote.

According to him, the first draft of the Minsk agreement was created by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 'She would never let anyone shape the articles of the agreement - not even her counselors. That's her temper and her methods - she's quite serious, careful and pays a lot of attention )...) Poroshenko and Putin would raise voice at each other all the time. The Russian President was so nervous he even began to threaten to completely smash his counterpart's army. It showed that there actually are Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. Putin bethought himself and re-gained control', the ex-president remembered.

Related: 21 children deceased due to mishandling explosives in Donbas

According to him, Poroshenko would insist on Ukraine's sovereignty in Donbas, while Putin offered autonomy for the eastern regions and tried to drag the ceasefire for another three weeks from the actual date.

'He (Putin, - 112 International) was so unflexible he denied his direct contacts with the leaders of militants; he said he could not decide anything instead of them. He demanded that people consult him', Hollande wrote. 

The former French leader also expressed confidence that Russia was behind the MH17 tragedy. 'Several months before the talks, in July 2014, the missile, fired by pro-Russian militants, mistakenly shot down Malaysia Airlines aircraft over the area of Donetsk, killing 298 passengers, 80 of which were children', his book reads. 

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