The 2014 Minsk Agreement was indeed a ploy to buy Ukraine time and should be credited for Kiev’s “successful resilience” now, former French president Francois Hollande said on Friday. Confirming former German chancellor Angela Merkel’s assessment of the truce, Hollande also blamed US weakness for the failure to deter Russia.
Earlier this month, Merkel described Minsk as “an attempt to give Ukraine time” to build up its military. Speaking with the Kyiv Independent, a pro-government Ukrainian outlet, Hollande agreed, saying Merkel was “right on this point.”
“Since 2014, Ukraine has strengthened its military posture. Indeed, the Ukrainian army was completely different from that of 2014. It was better trained and equipped. It is the merit of the Minsk agreements to have given the Ukrainian army this opportunity,” Hollande said, adding that it also stopped the advance of Donbass “separatists” on Mariupol.
Hollande was president between 2012 and 2017, choosing not to run for re-election after polls showed him as the least popular French leader in recent history, with a 97% disapproval rating. In Friday’s interview, he credited himself for wanting “maximal” sanctions against Russia, while other EU leaders were reluctant.