Sunday, June 01, 2008

Looking as a president (but he is a prime minister)

Vladimir Putin began his first major international visit since becoming prime minister son Thursday, meeting with officials in Paris to conduct negotiations on a presidential scale, the newspaper Kommersant said.
Though there is nothing strange about a Russian prime minister taking a role in foreign affairs, Mr. Putin "is not simply a prime minister," a source from France's Foreign Ministry said. The ministry has had to improvise on diplomatic protocol and President Nicolas Sarkozy prepared to discuss several issues not typically covered with visitors of Mr. Putin's official rank: like, for example Russia's political relationship with the European Union, a subject usually reserved for the Russian president.
Russian press is fond of that. Sarkozy, who is on a first-name basis with Putin and addresses him in the familiar "tu" form, greeted him at his car as it pulled up to the palace, as Moscow Times pointed out. Sarkozy, who is on a first-name basis with Putin and addresses him in the familiar "tu" form, greeted him at his car as it pulled up to the palace. (As president, the only countries Putin visited more than France were Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Germany. He made seven
visits to France, and his Friday schedule was to begin with a meeting with the man who usually played his host)

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