What You Need To Know:
✓ Lifting sanctions is controversial issue amongst all French politicians;
✓ No sign of change to indicate that lifting sanctions is warranted;
✓ Putin trying to use UN to restore his image and reputation;
✓ Putin will have a hard time convincing world leaders that he can be trusted;
✓ Ukrainian public is disappointed at pace of reforms.
Marie Mendras, professor at Sciences Po University’s School of International Affairs in Paris, says that "the French government position is clear, there will be no lifting of sanctions as long as the Kremlin remains the same unwilling partner."
Mendras believes that Putin will try to make it seem like he's part of the solution for Syria by going to UN but he's been persona non grata for over a year and a half. According to her, Putin will use the Islamic State as a common enemy in the face of the world, and try to wrangle support by showing his willingness to fight ISIL.
As far as the internal politics of Ukraine, she says that since Maidan, there is clear evidence of more political will to reform in but that the public is disappointed at the speed of the reforms.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk spoke with Marie Mendras, at the YES conference in Kyiv on September 12th, 2015.