France Balks Over Gas Summit

Vladimir Putin’s efforts to convene a summit with European political and corporate energy leaders in Moscow to settle the natural gas dispute with Ukraine has hit a few speed bumps.  French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who is not unfamiliar with broken promises, has balked over the conditions and is refusing to send a delegation.  From the Associated Press:

“The conditions for a summit are insufficient,” the French Embassy in Moscow said. In a foreign policy speech, Sarkozy said the credibility of Ukraine and Russia were at stake.

“I know and understand political rivalries. They must not hold hostage an energy dispute which concerns millions of Europeans, who expect better. Ukraine’s credibility is at stake,” he said.

Turning to Russia, he added: “When one supplies two-thirds of the gas that Europe needs, you respect your clients, as the clients must respect the supplier.”