Sarkozy tells Russia to stop 'complicating' matters
5 October 2007, SOFIA (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy levelled a new charge against Russia on Thursday, accusing the country of complicating the world's problems, and urging it to start helping resolve them.
5 October 2007
SOFIA (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy levelled a new charge against Russia on Thursday, accusing the country of complicating the world's problems, and urging it to start helping resolve them.
Russia "should understand that big countries have not only rights, but also responsibilities," Sarkozy said during a question and answer session with students during a visit to the University of Sofia.
"And among those responsibilities, there are two, to be exemplary in the domain of democracy and helping to resolve the big issues in the world and not being a country which complicates the resolution of the world's big problems," he added.
The French president's statement comes ahead of his first official visit to Russia on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.
Sarkozy has become more critical towards Russia than his predecessor Jacques Chirac, and moved closer to the United States, meeting President George W. Bush only weeks after his election.
During his election campaign and in a policy speech on August 27, Sarkozy attacked Moscow's "brutality" in the war in Chechnya and in international diplomacy.
He accused Russia in particular of using its vast oil and gas reserves to impose its will on its neighbours in Europe.
Sarkozy has also taken a tougher line against Iran's suspect nuclear programme, which is expected to figure in his talks with Putin, an opponent of further sanctions against Tehran.
Sarkozy was Bulgaria on Thursday to receive the country's highest award for helping secure the release of six Bulgarian medics jailed in Libya.
Subject: French news