Sarkozy Falls for Russia

From the Times (London):  What a difference three years make. Campaigning for election in early 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy hammered Russia over human rights and promised to break with the cosy, uncritical relations that President Chirac pursued with Moscow. This week, President Sarkozy has thrown France into Russian arms, receiving President Medvedev on a state visit with the ardour of an eager suitor.

Sarkozy’s calculations are simple, they make sense for France and they are being welcomed by both left and right. Sarkozy’s overtures to Barack Obama  have failed. The American leader looks down on him — though he has finally invited him for his first White House visit later this month. Sarkozy received nothing from the Americans for resuming full Nato membership. Germany has so far beaten France hands down in reaping benefit from trade with Russia. So France is reverting to the old Russia card that was first played by President Charles de Gaulle in the 1960s…

Carried away with the new Franco-Russian honeymoon, Medvedev was lyrical on his visit to Mayor Bertrand Delanoe at the city hall. "Our interest in each other has always been mutual," he gushed."To use a word full of emotion, I would even describe this interest as ‘rapturous’."

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