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French historian says Hollande-Merkel initiative may help avoid new Cold War

February 06, 2015, 9:26 UTC+3 PARIS
Helene Carrere d’Encausse said the present attitude of the West to Russia could push it further towards Asia
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Soviet-era hammer and sickle sculptures seen in Mariupol, south-eastern Ukraine

Soviet-era hammer and sickle sculptures seen in Mariupol, south-eastern Ukraine

© AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

PARIS, February 6. /TASS/. A new peace initiative of the French president and the German chancellor to end the Ukrainian conflict could give Europe a chance to avoid a new Cold War, a French historian and specialist on Russia said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

"Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel have taken the only right path - the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis on the basis of political initiatives," said Helene Carrere d’Encausse, permanent secretary of Academie Francaise.

"It is exactly this that can let Europe avoid a return to the atmosphere of the Cold War," she added. "We have already had an opportunity to see what weapons supplies have resulted in during a conflict in Syria and intervention in Libya-an uncontrollable spread of weapons getting into the hands of very different groups," the historian said.

Speaking about the upcoming talks in Moscow, she said "the Minsk agreements could be taken as a basis in search for a compromise". German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday a new peace initiative to end renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Helene Carrere d’Encausse said the present attitude of the West to Russia could push it further towards Asia. "For Europe it means a danger of isolation from that region, which at the moment determines the international situation to a great deal. Russia is a bridge between Europe and Asia," she told Le Figaro.

The expert also marked the role Russia could play in the settlement of the situation in the Middle East and in fight against terrorism.

 

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