WikiLeaks: Angry Sarkozy Got Physical with Russian Foreign Minister over Georgia
When Georgia and Russia came to blows in 2008, fears ran rife that the conflict could escalate into a general Russia-West fight. Looks like it got very close; especially when you have an angry French president trying to shake -- literally -- Russia into complying with the ceasefire agreement.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was not given a chance to follow through on the promise he reportedly made to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to hang Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili by certain body parts. It appears, however, that Sarkozy did grab Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by his lapels.
An alleged cable from the US embassy in Moscow, disclosed by WikiLeaks, reported that an emotional Sarkozy came, ready for a fight, to a September 8, 2008 meeting with the phlegmatic Lavrov about the cease-fire terms. “Sarkozy arrived with a ‘take it or leave it attitude, very American in style and very confrontational,’” the unidentified American diplomat writes in the document. “Sarkozy at one point grabbed FM [Sergei] Lavrov by the lapels and called him a liar in very strong terms.”
The cable does not specify Lavrov’s reaction. It only says that “the Russians responded icily.”