Tusk: I kept saying that Russia was a strategic problem - I was labeled a monomaniac
"I had to publicly remind others, almost every week, that Russia is not our 'strategic partner', but our 'strategic problem'," the outgoing EU Council President said. "I was even labeled a 'monomaniac', for being so focused on this subject", Tusk said speaking at the College of Europe in Bruges, as reported by Russian News Agency Tass.
According to Tusk, his main focus was to maintain European unity, for which "Kremlin's aggressive policy" was the main challenge
"I was (and still am) convinced that, in this game, what is at stake, is not only the future of independent Ukraine and the security of Central Europe, including that of my country, but the sovereignty of Europe as a political entity," he continued. "And I had no doubt that Putin's strategic goal was not only to regain control of the former Soviet Union territories, but also to systematically weaken the EU by provoking internal divisions", Tusk concluded.
Tusk said his efforts eventually "paid off" in view of the sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis, which additionally strengthened EU unity.