According to Hollande, President Putin has pursued a very different objective – to keep the Ukraine of the steps allowing it to join NATO. And Hollande says that Putin has personally confessed it, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the French radio station France Inter.
"Putin does not want to annex Eastern Ukraine, he has stated this before me. Still, this is not Crimea. What he wants is that Ukraine does not go over to NATO's camp," Mr Hollande said.
Besides, the French President believes that even under such a scenario Russia must show respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine and stop supporting separatists.
According to Hollande, EU is interested in fast Ukrainian crisis resolution because the new sanctions against Russia have negative impact on EU economies too.
The president of France said that if Putin goes for a peaceful settlement in Donbas and stops supporting separatists, the sanctions will be lifted.
"I think the sanctions must stop now. They must be lifted if there is progress. If there is no progress the sanctions will remain," Hollande said.