Brussels, 18 December 2014
I just came back yesterday night from Kyiv. It will be a good opportunity today to brief the European Council. We will discuss Ukraine, first of all the need to support the reform agenda in Ukraine. I think that it's time for the European Union to concentrate on making Ukraine a success and this is something that will require work both in Kyiv and in Brussels. And also as President Tusk has said, I think a few minutes ago coming in, the need for us to develop a sound, responsible strategy with Russia. We will start tonight and I'm ready to follow that up, looking at how the conversation will develop tonight, and follow that up in January with the Foreign Ministers.
I think that at the moment it is time for all sides, first of all from Russia, to implement the Minsk agreement, in all its points. First we have to see results, concrete results on the ground. And I hope that in the coming days we might see some positive developments in this sense. The Minsk agreement contains very precise objectives and also some reference to the time framework and I would expect this time framework to be respected in a few days.
I want to make clear one thing: the situation of Russia, the fact that Russia is in a difficult situation from a financial point of view, is not good news. It is not good news first of all for the Russian citizens and this is what everybody including or starting from the Russian leadership should take care about. But also it is not good news for Ukraine, also it is not good for Europe or for the rest of the world. I normally do not tend to think that what is negative for someone can be positive for someone else, but it is true that President Putin and the Russian leadership should reflect seriously about the need for introducing radical change in the attitude toward the rest of the world and to switch to a cooperative mode. I think this would be very much needed, I would say as much as it is needed a cooperation on the various different crisis that we have. The world has never been as dangerous and unstable as it is now and it would be good news if we managed to build a constructive relationship to deal with some of these crises, at least and obviously starting from Ukraine.