The West and Russia should go back to dialogue and develop the right tools to tackle three major issues of Ukraine: the constitution, security and economy, a former French prime minister and minister of foreign affairs told RT at the Valdai conference.
RT:What is your assessment of Western sanctions against Russia? Are they fair? Have they achieved their goals?
Dominique de Villepin: I believe that we are all are paying the price for the sanctions. Russia, because of more economic and financial difficulties, but also the West. In Europe, we see that growth is restricted and recovery is hindered. The same goes for the US and the world as such. China’s growth is not as big as it used to be and the emerging countries are facing difficulties. The problem of Ukraine is really a weight on the world economy. And we all together should face the fact that we need go back to dialogue.
The group in Minsk has done a good job: we had a ceasefire in September. But I believe today we don’t have the right tools to act. I am advocating for the creation of a contact group that will unify the US, Russia, Ukraine – as well as the UK, France, Germany and Poland. I think these countries could really tackle these three major issues of Ukraine today. The first one is the constitutional issue, the second one is the security issue – the problem of the borders - and the third one is the financial and economic issue.
The burden of Ukraine is huge. And we have to understand what we have today in Ukraine: it is a divided state and almost a failed state with huge needs in terms of finance and economic support. Acting together, we can help. Just one country, or even the EU, cannot address the matter. We need to go back to dialog all together and try to find the right solution. This I believe is the key for action.
RT: How do you see the Russia’s current role in the world?
DV: We must face the fact that we need Russia, the world needs Russia. Of course we cannot solve the Ukrainian crisis without Russia. We cannot solve the Middle East crisis without Russia, whether we are talking about Syria or Iran or ISIS.
And at the same time Russia needs the world – for economic and financial relationship. Everything is connected; in terms of globalization every one of us needs the other. That is why the key to international relations should be respect and understanding. We should not try to humiliate anyone or to create more frustration in any country.