Looks like Nicholas Sarkozy has done it again. The Moscow Times reports:
Sarkozy said Europe was ready to send peacekeepers to Georgia if all involved parties agreed. "Could Europe get involved in a peacekeeping mission? Europe is available to do that, of course," he said.
Sarkozy took pains to be seen as a fair arbiter, saying he sent his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to meet refugees in North Ossetia. Before his visit to Moscow, Sarkozy met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and he said the two of them see eye to eye. Medvedev is scheduled to meet with Merkel later this week in Sochi, where he is scheduled to go on a working vacation.
Medvedev said the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia should be allowed to decide themselves whether they want to be part of Georgia. "The Ossetians and the Abkhaz must respond to that question taking their history into consideration, including what happened in the past few days," he said.
Sarkozy and Medvedev had been scheduled to address reporters after two hours of talks, but a Kremlin spokesman announced that it had been delayed because the talks were continuing. A member of the French delegation said soon after that Putin had arrived for lunch with Medvedev and Sarkozy. The two presidents addressed reporters two hours later, while Putin chose not to attend.
When asked why the talks went so long, a senior Russian diplomat who participated in the meeting said only that the leaders had agreed on everything long before they emerged to speak with reporters and had in the remaining time "told jokes about women." The diplomat did not smile as he spoke, and it was unclear whether he was joking.
From the Kremlin, Sarkozy headed for Tbilisi where he was prepared to spend the night talking to Saakashvili. "The night is young," he said.
France holds the European Union's rotating presidency and is leading mediation efforts between Russia and Georgia. Shortly before meeting Sarkozy, Medvedev ordered a halt to fighting by Russian troops.
France is well-positioned for the mediation effort because it was of the countries that resisted U.S. calls to put Georgia and Ukraine on track to join NATO by giving them a Membership Action Plan in April.