Russian press pokes fun at Sarkozy after visit
11 October 2007, MOSCOW (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy earned little more than mockery from the Russian press on Thursday after a visit to Moscow that many commentators found fawning and short on substance.
11 October 2007
MOSCOW (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy earned little more than mockery from the Russian press on Thursday after a visit to Moscow that many commentators found fawning and short on substance.
Newspapers poked fun at Sarkozy's high-heeled boots and reported delight at waking to see Red Square, while noting that nothing of substance was achieved on the key issues of Kosovo and Iran.
"Balancing on five-centimetre heels and gesturing passionately, Sarkozy tried to demonstrate not only the unbreakable friendship between Russia and France, but also between himself and the Russian leader," the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily noted.
"However, the master of the Kremlin was a little arrogant and tried to keep his guest at a distance, as if to demonstrate that the new master of the Elysee Palace had a long way to go to attain Jacques Chirac's international weight," the newspaper wrote.
Almost every newspaper began their reports of Wednesday meetings between Sarkozy and Putin with Sarkozy happily telling his host of finally achieving his dream of waking to see Red Square -- a story that appeared to leave Putin cold.
"It remains unknown whether Putin has had any such experience and whether he could truly understand his guest's feelings," the state Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily said.
The Kommersant and Izvestia dailies meanwhile irreverently wondered how Sarkozy's dream had come true, noting that the National Hotel where Sarkozy stayed did not afford the view.
The Kommersant newspaper concluded that he must have slept in a bar on Red Square.
Nor was the French leader seen as having achieved anything of substance on more important issues, such as the Iranian nuclear problem or moves towards independence for the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo -- both major bones of contention between Russia and the European Union.
"Though Sarkozy, who could not leave Moscow without some important news, said that positions on Iran were closer, within minutes it was obvious that there was no such closening," the Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote.
"Regarding Kosovo, it was also hard to speak of any closening of positions," the paper said.
On international issues, Sarkozy "did not venture to argue or disagree with the Russian positions," concluded Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Subject: French news