The presence of the Russian and French presidents at a conference in France today is being seen as a warming of relations between Moscow and Europe, two months after the conflict in Georgia.
However, at the conference in Evian, President Dimitry Medvedev launched a stinging attack on the US, saying it was undermining world security with a series of unilateral actions.
Europe, though, won his praise. He said: “I would like to hope that the tragic page on the Caucasus question has been turned. And I would like to underline again the constructive role of the European Union in trying to use diplomatic means to find solutions to this crisis.”
Nicolas Sarkozy said: “In Europe and elsewhere, the questions and worries about Russia’s real goals, especially in relation to its neighbours, and the methods it thinks are legitimate to reach those goals, have provoked this crisis in confidence. And if this malaise between Russia and Europe continues to take root, there’ll be serious consequences.”
Russian troops have today pulled out from a checkpoint at Karaleti near Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, in accordance with a French-brokered ceasefire agreement. President Medvedev has promised the pullout from buffer zones will be completed ahead of schedule, by midnight Wednesday.