Hollande warns of ‘chaos’ if Ukraine presidential vote postponed

by The Daily Lede

Hollande warns of ‘chaos’ if Ukraine presidential vote postponed

French president François Hollande has warned of further “chaos and risk of civil war” if Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election is postponed, as the death toll from fighting in eastern regions continued to rise.

Mr Hollande said Europe and the US had to maintain pressure on Moscow via sanctions to ensure the vote takes place to elect a president “legitimate in the eyes of all”.

His comments swung France behind the stance taken by the US and Germany last week when President Barack Obama and Angela Merkel, German chancellor, warned they would impose further sanctions on Russian industry if Moscow sought to block the election.

Speaking in a television interview on Tuesday morning, Mr Hollande said: “The Russians – [President] Vladimir Putin – don’t want this election to take place, to continue to keep up the pressure [on Kiev]. It’s up to us to convince him.”

Mr Hollande said the EU must have a “coherent” commitment on sanctions that sent a “simple, single message” to Russia. “France and Germany hold this position and that is what can enable us to have an election on May 25,” he added.