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The View From Europe


French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both criticized Russia's actions, but in varying ways.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both criticized Russia's actions, but in varying ways.

The European Union has condemned Russia's actions in Georgia, and called an emergency summit for September 1 to discuss how the bloc should react to the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

While the European Commission and the EU Presidency, currently occupied by France, have both strongly criticized Moscow, the statements from European capitals have been more varied. Ahead of the September 1 summit, RFE/RL talked to experts in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and Warsaw for their views on see the showdown with Russia and prospects for the EU to agree on a common strategy.

The View From Paris: EU Will Not Engage In New Cold War
France, which currently holds the EU Presidency, has been very much involved in the Georgian conflict. RFE/RL speaks with Philippe Moreau Defarges, researcher at the French Institute for International Relations (IFRI) and co-director of the Ramses report in Paris, about France's position in the crisis.

The View from London: Britain Shares Eastern Europe's View Of Russia
Britain has been one of Europe's most outspoken critics of Russia over its actions in Georgia. For more on the British position and the European Union's upcoming meeting on the crisis, RFE/RL speaks to Denis Corboy, a former EU ambassador to Georgia who now heads the Caucasus Policy Institute at King's College, London.

The View From Berlin: Forging Unity 'Among The Powerless'
Germany, the largest economy in the European Union and also one of the bloc's political heavyweights, has taken a strong line on the Russia-Georgia conflict. The question is, can Berlin shape the tone of the EU special summit set for September 1? RFE/RL spoke to German foreign-policy analyst Jan Techau of the German Council on Foreign Relations on this and other points.

The View From Warsaw: EU Unlikely To Find Common Stance Over Russia
The main subject of the September 1 EU summit will be the future of relations between the EU and Russia. In the run-up to the summit, RFE/RL speaks with Eugeniusz Smolar, chairman of the Warsaw-based Center for International Relations, about how Poland views the crisis.

The View From Rome: Italy Will Remain Silent In Showdown With Russia
In the EU's showdown with Moscow over Georgia, one key EU state is rarely heard in the debate: Italy. The reason is not only that Italy is a major trading partner with Russia, but Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, more than any other current European leader, has made partnership with Moscow a priority. RFE/RL speaks with Giovanni Gasparini, senior fellow for security and defense at the Rome-based Istituto Affari Internazionali, to learn more.
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