Hollande added that sanctions against Russia affect not only the Russian economic and political state but they have a negative impact on Europe's economy which is still struggling due to the global economic crisis. The sanctions should be lifted on the condition if there is a progress with regard to the conflict in and around Ukraine. If there is no progress from the Russian side, the sanctions need to be remained.
"I will go to Astana on January 15 on one condition, which is that there should be a possibility of making new progress. If it's just to meet and talk without making any actual advances then there's no point. But I think there will be progress”, Hollande told France Inter.
According to a senior Russian lawmaker, the EU leaders shouldn't act on the emotional basis but on a more rational argument, referring to the comments remarked by the French President.
“Emotions should give way to commonsense.”, mentioned Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council
In the response of the French president, the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Spokeswoman Catherine Ray argued that it is his personal opinion. While Russia is warmly greeting his action at the same time being disappointed by the conditionality that the French leader has imposed with respect to the Russian initiative, to make a progress on the Ukrainian issue.
“Mr. Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine, I am sure — he told me so,” Mr. Hollande said. “What he wants is to remain influential. What Mr. Putin wants is that Ukraine not to become a member of NATO. The idea of Mr. Putin is to not to have an army at Russia’s borders.”
His speech has ensured the statement that Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, had declared concerning the EU willingness to recover its ties with Russia: "On the one hand, we should strengthen our support for Ukraine, where the internal economic situation could very quickly become very serious. And, on the other hand, we should begin direct discussions with Moscow over our mutual relations and the role Russia can play in other crises," Mogherini said. She is in full favour of making end to the EU-Russian confrontations.
In his turn, the Latvian government that took the round of the EU presidency in January 2015 has opposed to the French leader's viewpoint by certifying that Baltic countries have suffered from the fear towards Russia, and the sanctions need to be remained unless the EU joint decision is made. "Before any decisions are made, the EU ought to discuss this matter, ”Rinkevics told Latvia’s news programme 900 Sekkundes.