Paris and the EU-Russia Dialogue: A New Impulse with Nicolas Sarkozy? "Russie.Nei.Visions", No. 23, October 2007
The visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Russia (October 2007) and the future French Presidency of the European Union (in the second half of 2008) call for a reflection on Franco-Russian relations and their structure within the broader framework of Russia-Europe relations. In the coming years, the nature of the EU-Russian dialogue will become a crucial issue, while Franco-Russian bilateral relations are now relegated to second place. This discrepancy is forcing French policy-makers to resort to a pragmatic and realistic approach in order to better combine the two agendas. This article examines the immediate issues at stake in the EU-Russian dialogue, the EU's attitude toward Russia and, conversely, Russia's attitude toward the EU. For each point, this article will examine whether the French stance has been sustained or if it has evolved.