Friday

16th Nov 2018

Sarkozy wants new EU-US-Russia security accord

With Russia's backing for the G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed a new security and defence arrangement between the EU, Russia and the US to be agreed at a summit mid-2009, calling both on Moscow and Washington to refrain from deploying missiles until that date.

Mr Sarkozy was speaking at a press conference on Friday (14 November) following the EU-Russia summit held in Nice, alongside his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • President Dmitri Medvedev got French support on security and defence matters, despite not having fully complied with the ceasefire agreement in Georgia (Photo: Kremlin.ru)

"As acting EU council president I propose that mid-2009 we gather for instance within the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] to lay the basis of what might be a future EU security arrangement ...which would of course involve the Russians and the Americans," Mr Sarkozy said, backing an idea originally proposed by his Russian counterpart.

He also expressed his "preoccupation" with Mr Medvedev's threat to deploy short-range missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, bordering Poland and Lithuania.

"There shouldn't be any deployment in any enclave until we have not discussed the new geopolitical conditions of a pan-European security arrangement," he told Russia, while also calling on the US to "stop talking" about the missile defence shield which "only complicates things."

Mr Sarkozy seemed to be offering his role "as a potential mediator in Russian-American relations," AFP commented.

Mr Medvedev had threatened on 5 November to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the Americans install their anti-ballistic missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russian-EU entente for G20 summit

Mr Medvedev backed EU proposals for the G20 summit to be held in Washington on Saturday (15 November), calling them "almost identical" with his. The Russian president said he was backing a deep reform of the international financial system, as well as a second financial summit at end of February, after the new US president Barack Obama takes office.

Mr Sarkozy called the Russian financial and economic proposals "of very good quality" and "very close to the EU proposals."

"And I'm very satisfied to see that there is a will on the part of the Russian federation for strong decisions to come out of the Washington summit," he added.

Georgia hardly mentioned

The Russian-Georgian war was portrayed as a somewhat closed affair, with Mr Sarkozy congratulating himself and his team for having brokered the ceasefire agreement, calling for "diplomatic solutions" in the region through negotiations in Geneva and criticising "some prominent leaders" who were against him going to Moscow in August and were now against resuming EU-Russia partnership treaty talks.

He asked the Russians "to make progress" in their withdrawal from Georgia, especially the Akhalgori region within the South Ossetia region and the Perevi village, located just outside in Georgia proper. But he estimated that the Russians fulfilled "the essential part of their agreements."

For his part, Mr Medvedev rejected the idea of not having fully complied with the cease fire agreements, pointing that "the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is our final decision. It is irrevocable."

Mr Medvedev also rejected the EU's accusation that the Russian use of force in Georgia was disproportionate. He said Moscow's military intervention was "limited, necessary and in accordance with international law."

EU-Russia talks to resume on 2 December

The negotiations between Russia and the EU on a strategic partnership agreement, suspended after the Georgian crisis will be resumed on 2 December, a spokeswoman for the European commission told AFP.

The EU and Russian leaders gathered in Nice "agreed to retake negotiations on 2 December," said Christianne Hohman, spokeswoman for external relations.

She added that the December meeting would be at a technical level, between the heads of the negotiating teams.

No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

British PM Theresa May battles for survival as she faces calls for her resignation and the rebellion of several ministers who resigned over the draft Brexit deal - which the EU is preparing to sign later this month.

Analysis

Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)

The main points of the Brexit withdrawal deal between London and Brussels dissected. Although the EU is preparing to sign the agreement, the UK government has been rocked by resignations since its publication less than 24 hours ago.

Opinion

US steps in to clean up Cyprus

Cyprus has overlooked undertakings on bank probity made to the EU in the context of the 2013 bailout - but it might prove harder to get the US off its back.

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  2. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May
  3. Denmark blocks Tanzania aid over homophobic crackdown
  4. Second UK cabinet minister resigns over Brexit deal
  5. UK Brexit secretary quits morning after deal agreed
  6. Romanian MPs call for national 'Magnitsky Act'
  7. Tusk: Brexit summit on Sunday 25 November
  8. Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army

Angela Merkel's much-anticipated speech to the European Parliament was brief and to the point. Her message: Europe is alone in the world, the EU should be more united on defence, but not on the economy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  2. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  3. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  4. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  5. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  6. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot
  7. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  8. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  3. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  5. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  9. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  10. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us