Hollande wants Ukraine territory preserved

French President François Hollande joined European leaders on Sunday in insisting that Ukraine's "territorial integrity" must be respected amid fears the country could split into two along its Russo-Ukrainian faultline.

Hollande wants Ukraine territory preserved
People wave a giant Ukrainian flag on Kiev's Independence Square on February 23, 2014. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP

French President Francois Hollande said in a statement on Sunday that Ukraine's territorial integrity "must be respected" following a tumultuous week that saw a sudden change in leadership and new presidential elections called.

His appeal echoed those of the United States, Germany and the European Union amid fears that Ukraine could fracture along its Russo-Ukrainian linguistic and cultural faultline.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and "both agreed that Ukraine must quickly get a government capable of acting and its territorial integrity must be preserved," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said.  

A day after Ukraine's three-month crisis culminated in parliament ousting the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych as president and calling new elections, Merkel and Putin also stressed the need for stability in Ukraine.
"They underline their common interest in the stability of the country in political and economic respects," Seibert said in a statement.  
He said Merkel and Putin had agreed to remain in close contact. There are fears that Russia will support a breakaway movement in the pro-Russian east of the country.
The Ukrainian parliament appointed an interim leader Sunday but fears have arisen abroad over the future of the ex-Soviet state, with its people split between a pro-Russian east and a nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west pushing for closer ties with Europe.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Russia announces no New Year’s greetings for France, US, Germany

US President Joe Biden, France's Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not be receiving New Year's greetings from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Russia announces no New Year's greetings for France, US, Germany

As the world gears up to ring in the New Year this weekend, Putin sent congratulatory messages to the leaders of Kremlin-friendly countries including Turkey, Syria, Venezuela and China.

But Putin will not wish a happy New Year to the leaders of the United States, France and Germany, countries that have piled unprecedented sanctions on Moscow over Putin’s assault on Ukraine.

“We currently have no contact with them,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“And the president will not congratulate them given the unfriendly actions that they are taking on a continuous basis,” he added.

Putin shocked the world by sending troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.

While Kyiv’s Western allies refused to send troops to Ukraine, they have been supplying the ex-Soviet country with weapons in a show of support that has seen Moscow suffer humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.