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Medvedev, Sarkozy find common language

Posted by smeddum on October 10, 2008

from Gazeta.ru, RBC Daily RiaNovosti

Medvedev, Sarkozy find common language

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has supported Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s idea of reforming the European security system. The two leaders made policy speeches at the first World Policy Conference in Evian, France.
Analysts say the interests of Russia and the European Union coincide, but point out that the conference has not proposed practical solutions to global problems.
Medvedev’s five principles of a new treaty on the European security system, which should replace the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, reflect the Kremlin’s idea of a multipolar world.
According to them, no country has exclusive rights in maintaining European security, but instead all countries should refrain from using military force to solve problems and from participating in military alliances that threaten others.
Sarkozy supported some of Medvedv’s ideas in an emotional speech, beginning his every other sentence with “Dear Dmitry.”
Analysts are not surprised at the French president’s friendly attitude to his Russian colleague.
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor-in-chief of the Moscow-based magazine Russia in Global Affairs, explains it by an attempt to “snatch intellectual leadership from the United States” and says Medvedev is Sarkozy’s main ally in this undertaking.
The Russian president has chosen his tone wisely, proposing joint consideration of ways to overcome the ongoing financial crisis and making practical proposals on European security, Lukyanov said.
“The world is tired of criticism, while Medvedev’s proposals offer a solution,” the analyst said.
Konstantin Simonov, president of Russia’s Center for Current Politics, said: “We need a new Yalta [conference on principles of the post-WWII world order] and a new Bretton Woods [system of monetary management that set the rules for commercial and financial relations among major industrial states]. Of course, Medvedev’s five principles will not save the system, but his speech amounted to Russia’s invitation to Europe to discuss a new agenda.”
Timofei Bordachev, director of the Center for Comprehensive European and Global Studies at the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics, said: “Given its complicated relations with the U.S., Russia is steering a policy of rapprochement with Europe. The EU also wants to become a more independent player on the international scene and to break out of its dependence on the U.S. The positions of Russia and the EU on these issues coincide.”
Vladimir Gutnik, head of the European Studies Center at IMEMO (Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences), doubts that the Evian conference will have positive results.
“Apart from rhetoric and common phrases, the Evian meeting has not done anything to approve practical solutions to global problems, in particular financial ones,” Gutnik said.

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