What You Need To Know:
✓ There is a European consensus that Ukraine is a victim;
✓ Europe sees Ukraine as fulfilling the Minsk peace agreement;
✓ Following international isolation, Putin might have finally learned his lesson;
✓ On financial help to Ukraine: 'Your Marshall Plan is your IMF deal'.
Radoslaw Sikorski, the former Polish minister of Foreign Affairs, says that "80% of the problems between Ukraine and Europe would be solved if everyone just did what they said they would do." He's referring to promises from both ends to reform and support reforms. Under his tenure, he says that the former President of Poland was promised things by Yanukoych which never materialized, but he sees real reforms taking place in Ukraine now.
"Ukraine will have visa free travel to Europe when it fulfills the technical requirements and then Ukraine can become a pre accession country if it convinces Europeans that it's capable of behaving like a potential EU members state." says Mr. Sikorski.
To him, although the Minsk agreement requires both sides to fulfill their ends, "changing the constitution was proof that Ukraine is doing its best to stick to the agreement, and that puts pressure on Putin to stick to it as well."
Sikorski also believes that Putin may finally be seeing the need to integrate himself back into the world order, and he welcomes this. "It's worth it to keep encouraging him to become a member of the international order again, and you see it happening now with his upcoming trip to the UN. "We want Russia to cooperate with us."
He says that the best way to keep pressure on Putin, and others like him, is to ensure that Europe speaks as a united front, with a united foreign policy. In his opinion, it's easy for countries to fragment in the face of crises, but Europe must stick together.
Sikorski also reiterates Poland's support for Ukraine. "We have a consensus in Poland on supporting Ukraine, no matter which parties get elected. Poland is a firm friend of Ukraine."
Natalia Gumenyuk of Hromadske International spoke to Radoslaw Sikorski during an international YES conference in Kyiv on September 11th, 2015.