President Sarkozy flew to Russia yesterday in an effort to save the cease fire in Georgia that he has tried to implement. As the European Union president for this time period, the French leader is attempting to persuade Russian leader Dimitry Medvedev to withdraw his troops and allow EU monitors to take over the task of implementing the cease fire. His goal will not receive a positive reaction from Russian leaders who already have indicated their disapproval of such a suggestion. Sarkozy emphasized to Russia, the EU is united in seeking peace in the region and wants “good neighborly relations” with Russia, but “the European Union also has its principles and convictions.”
A month ago Russia promised to begin withdrawing its forces from Georgia and insists its soldiers are the peacekeepers in the region. Missing from Sarkozy’s demands is any acknowledgment that Georgia created the entire incident by invading South Ossetia and bombing its people. Perhaps, if there was recognition of Russia’s legitimate right to have secure borders, the entire matter could swiftly be resolved. A first step would be ending the Bush plan for missile bases in Poland.