France’s U.S.-friendly president sent a clear message Friday to the next American administration: Plans for a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe are misguided, and won’t make the continent a safer place.
Nicolas Sarkozy also warned Russian President Dmitry Medvedev against upping tensions by deploying missiles on the borders of the European Union in response to the U.S. planned missile defense system.
Sarkozy’s comments, at a summit with Medvedev, were the strongest to date by an American ally against the missile-defense plans — and undercut the rationale behind U.S. President George W. Bush’s European security strategy.
The plans for using sites in Poland and the Czech Republic have infuriated Russia despite the Bush administration’s insistence that they are aimed at protecting Europe from Iran.
Of course, Putin’s puppet Medvedev was delighted to hear that:
“Deployment of a missile defense system would bring nothing to security … it would complicate things, and would make them move backward,” Sarkozy said at a news conference with Medvedev. Medvedev smiled and pointed his finger at Sarkozy in approval.
Of course, it all boils down to money:
The European Union is Russia’s No. 1 customer and No. 1 investor, and heavily dependent on Russian energy. With the world financial crisis shaking markets in Europe and beyond, officials of the 27-nation EU say reaching out to Moscow is crucial to ensuring stability and to keeping Russia from shutting off its economy to outsiders.
Medvedev pointed on Friday to the lucrative trade between the EU and Russia, worth hundreds of billions of euros annually.
“We should think of this when we make decisions on all cooperation,” he said.
After the event in France, the two headed to Washington for the G20 meeting.
Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan…
In heaven there is no beer, but there is in Afghanistan!
Allies: you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.