Ukraine crisis should not mar France-Russia ties: Hollande
French President Francois Hollande Sunday said the Ukraine crisis should not be an irritant in France`s ties with Russia.
Brisbane: French President Francois Hollande Sunday said the Ukraine crisis should not be an irritant in France`s ties with Russia.
Addressing a news conference following the G20 Summit here, Hollande said: "France`s role is to find a way out of the crisis."
France became a party to anti-Russian sanctions, as these were "necessary", given that Ukraine`s territorial integrity was breached, the French President noted.
The sanctions against Russia, however, "also affected the European economy, including the position of agricultural producers, as products were cut off from the Russian market", the French president said.
He added that the sanctions also affected France, which has important economic ties with Russia.
Hollande is believed to have told the Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia continued to aspire for the use of force, France would have to take new decisions (on sanctions).
Russia has been criticised by the West for its assertiveness in Ukraine and US President Barack Obama had said Saturday that Russia`s "aggression" towards Ukraine was a "threat to the world", citing the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 last July.
Putin has been attacked by both Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and British Prime Minister David Cameron over what the West believes to be Russian complicity in the downing of the flight over eastern Ukraine, that killed 298 people.
Putin, however, said the Ukraine crisis was not discussed during the G20 Summit`s official debates.
"The question of Ukraine was not raised, or even mentioned during official debates held within the G20 framework," Putin said Sunday.
He said he was pleased with the results of the G20 Summit, which he described as "friendly and substantive".