Russian and French relations have been put on a firmer footing during a three-day state visit to Paris by President Dimtry Medvedev. Upper most has been to present a united front against problematic Iran and its nuclear programme.
A reluctant Medvedev has finally agreed to consider imposing “smart sanctions” against Tehran if diplomatic efforts fail.
“ Russia is ready,” said Medvedev, “ to discuss with other partners, the question of sanctions. But at the same time these sanctions must be precise and intelligent. They must not cause hardship to the civilian population.”
But other news announced by President Nicolas Sarkozy has sparked concern among some NATO allies.
Having only just returned to the military alliance last year after years of exile, France is to sell four warships to Russia.
The two leaders also oversaw the signing of a new deal between French and Russian gas firms with GDF Suez agreeing on a nine per cent stake in the Nord Stream gas pipeline project.