'Europe doesn't want confrontation with Russia' - Sarkozy

The world doesn’t need a new confrontation with Russia and anyone wanting one is irresponsible. That was the message from French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the European Parliament as he outlined the outcomes of last week's summit in Brussels.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Sarkozy said: “We do not believe the world needs a crisis between Europe and Russia. It would be irresponsible. We can defend our ideas about the respect for sovereignty, the integrity of Georgia, human rights, the differences that we have, and so on. But it would be irresponsible to create conditions that would lead to a conflict, of which we have no need.”

Referring to status and territorial issues in the Caucasus, the French leader added: “I am told that certain problems have arisen here. But what else can one expect in this context? It is important that a dialogue and a discussion have been started.”

He stressed that Russia had “fulfilled its obligations” to settle the conflict in South Ossetia, and highlighted Europe’s role in the negotiation process. But he warned that there would continue to be issues needing resolution.

“It is clear that a long way will have to be passed before tensions subside in this region. And  yet, we have attained the goal we set,” he said.

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