On another issue, Poland, Estonia, and Denmark went beyond what the FT called "pre-agreed limits" of criticism of Putin to press him on human rights and his hyper-aggressive policies against Georgia [which the Western MSM press, including FT, doesn't recognize as an energy issue, but the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline goes through Georgia from Azerbaijan, skirting Russian and Iranian ally Armenia. Cutting off or controlling this pipeline would be another grip on Europe's energy jugular.]
Well, I'll give you one guess who jumped in Putin's lap [hint: it's a chien in his own tongue] licking the ring of the Russian crimelord. Let's use the FT language in today's paper, which in response to EU complaints about Russian bullying of Georgia, said the following:
Mr Putin reacted to claims that his overreaction to Georgia's military build-up near Russian-controlled Abkhazia and south Ossetia was heading for "bloodshed" by glowering across the table.
That prompted France's Jacqques Chirac, an ally of Mr. Putin, to peel away the facade of European unity, arguing that the Georgia dispute should not stand in the way of long-term EU-Russia relations. "Chirac hung Georgia out to dry," muttered one furious EU diplomat.
Chronic craven coward Chirac has never missed an opportunity to show disloyalty, amend promises, or break allied ranks in order to curry favor with an opponent.
France's snuggle-up last month to Armenia and opposition to Turkey's EU accession, after long support, are recent examples of this senile dementia victim who still thinks he may run next year again for President [though his near-single-digit popularity percentage may convince even this over-the-hill prima donna that his preening days are over.]
Yesterday, his own boy Friday, the long-time Chirac go-fer and poetaster PM Dominique de Villepin, declared he was no longer considering a run for President next year [sensible, as his popularity is barely above Chirac's].
The French like to claim expertise and dabble in Proche-Orient politics. Ever since French was the lingua franca, they played games taking sides with the Ottomans against the rest of Christian Europe [as they took the side of the Protestants in the Prot/Catholic Thirty Years War.] They seem to have a trahison gene in their national DNA. Now they are siding with Russia/Armenia and possibly soon Iran in the musical chair game; BP and American big oil own and manage the pipelines, so French dabbling can perhaps once again get them the rooster-crow bravado their national symbol so aptly evokes.
Napoleon once said of the Italians that they never finish a war on the same side as they started, except on occasions, of course, when they change sides twice.
Looks like the French are the new Italians!