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11 Mar, 2008 14:26

Russia-France talks on global security get heated

Russia's Foreign, Sergey Lavrov, and Defence Minister, Anatoly Serdukov, held security talks with their French counterparts in Paris. The meetings were part of the 7th Russian-French Security Co-operation Council.

The ministers discussed defence issues, including the U.S anti-missile shield and Russia-NATO relations.

They also touched upon the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. Russia withdrawn from this Cold War times pact, because of NATO’s expansion to the East and announced U.S. plans to create an anti-missile shield in Europe. Sergey Lavrov pointed out that France was one of the countries, which didn’t ratify the CFE treaty. 

The international issues were also on the agenda, like Iran’s nuclear programme.

The talks became heated when they turned to Kosovo. French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, suggested that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence is legal ans sanctioned by the EU and UN, but his Russian counterpart stressed that the key 1244 UN resolution was violated.  

“There are many issues where we [Russia and France] have common ground. There are questions over which we obviously cannot agree, for example, the problem of Kosovo. Still, I’m sure that without a strong Europe speaking in a unified voice, without the closest cooperation between this united Europe both with Russia and the U.S., we can’t expect to see a calm, steady development of the continent,” Sergey Lavrov underlined.

Sergey Lavrov and Anatoly Serdukov have met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.