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Nicolas Sarkozy is ready to visit Russia in September
France's new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, is ready to visit Russia in September, an aide to President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. "As far as the timeframe is concerned, President Sarkozy said he is ready to arrive on the Russian president's invitation, possibly in September," Sergei Prikhodko said. The aide noted that Russian and French heads of state have a long tradition of intensive contacts. At a summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations on Germany's Baltic coast, Putin met with Sarkozy for the first time since France's former interior minister was elected president. At a news conference, the French leader expressed his willingness to mediate in an ongoing dispute between Moscow and Washington over a planned U.S. missile shield, saying he appreciated the positions of both sides. "Let's not let things get out of hand, and let's find a solution," he said. "I don't think that President Putin, in his hearts, wants [a new Cold War]," Sarkozy said. The president proposed that French and Russian military specialists meet to discuss Russia's proposed alternative to the missile shield.
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