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Hollande: Ukraine Could Be "Une Guerre Totale"


France has decided to act strongly in Ukraine.

French president François Hollande says he will go to Kiev this afternoon with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to work out a diplomatic solution to the crisis there.

"With the German chancellor we are working on a document that can be accepted by all parties, the Ukrainians and Vladimir Putin,” Hollande said during an annual press conference in Paris Feb 5. But his tone was solemn when he said, "We are in a war, one that could be a real war" between Russia and Ukraine.

He also said that despite French cooperation with Ukraine, Paris does not favor Kiev's entry into NATO.

Concerning France's military budget, Hollande confirmed that the nation's €31.4-billion ($36-billion) annual spending plan will be “ring-fenced” until 2017, and that a planned troop reduction will be slowed. But the situation could change.

“If new dangers arise, I'll meet my responsibilities,” the president said.

In the meantime, France will continue operations against Islamic militants in Iraq. In a message directed at western allies, he said, "France cannot be the only military power to be called all over the world," and that other nations must to do their part in conflict zones like Libya, Syria and Africa – and in particular, Mali, against the terror group Boko Haram.

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