Ao que chegámos – apoiar Sarkozy?
President Nicolas Sarkozy of France joined Russia in condemning the Pentagon’s plans to install missile defence bases in central Europe yesterday and backed President Dmitri Medvedev’s previously ignored calls for a new pan-European security pact.
Both presidents concluded a Russia-EU summit, in Nice in the south of France, with an agreement to convene a major international conference next summer at which the Americans, Russians and the 27 countries of the EU should come up with a blueprint for new post-cold war “security architecture” in Europe.
The Russians see such a deal as a way of halting Nato enlargement and stopping the controversial US missile defence projects in Poland and the Czech Republic. While western European leaders are lukewarm about the Pentagon project and president-elect Barack Obama has yet to reveal his policies, Sarkozy went further yesterday, branding the project a setback for European security.
“Deployment of a missile defence system would bring nothing to security in Europe. It would complicate things,” said the French leader, who currently chairs the EU. As he attacked the plan, Czech and Polish ministers met in Prague to affirm their support for the installations and send a signal to the Obama administration, pleading for it to go ahead.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that Obama won’t kill missile defence,” Alexandr Vondra, the Czech deputy prime minister, told the Guardian. “The European pillar of missile defence is in the interests of everyone who wants to keep Nato strong.”