Estonia's Ansip surprised at Sarkozy

  • 2008-11-11
  • In cooperation with BNS

BRUSSELS, - Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip on Nov. 7 voiced his surpriseover the words of French President Nicholas Sarkozy that Russia has met theobligations taken as part of the terms of the ceasefire that ended the conflictin Georgia.

"I cannot believe that he has claimed that troops have been fullypulled out," Ansip told reporters after the extraordinary EU summit in Brussels.

The Estonian prime minister thoughtthe position of the French president is very unambiguous in that Russiahas not fulfilled the obligations it has itself assumed.

Sarkozy said that Russiahas fulfilled the conditions of the Georgiapeace plan and this topic can no longer be an obstacle to the resumption oftalks on the new framework agreement.

"I cannot confirm this, because how I have understood, and Lithuanian President [Valdas] Adamkushas exactly in the same way understood Sarkozy is that the EU is not satisfiedthat troops have not been fully pulled out from Georgia, because they are stillin the Akhalgori region and in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he said.

Ansip said the topic would be raised with again at the EU-Russia summit inNice at the end of next week.

France,which holds the EU's rotating presidency, wants to revive the EU-Russia deal ata Nov. 14 summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the French city of Nice.The agreement would replace a deal signed in 1997 which has lost much of itsrelevance owing to Russia'snew energy wealth and increasingly assertive foreign policy.

The EU froze the talks Sept. 1, saying they would resume only after Russiahad met the terms of the Sarkozy-brokered truce which called for both Russiaand Georgia topull troops back to positions held before the August war.

Poland and Lithuaniaargue it was wrong to resume business with Moscowso soon after the invasion of Georgiaand its recognition of the breakaway regions.