Paris: French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov a “liar” during negotiations with Moscow following the August 2008 conflict with Georgia, according to a US memo released by WikiLeaks.
Sarkozy negotiated the ceasefire agreement that brought an end to the war, which saw Russian troops pour into Georgia to repel a Georgian military assault on Moscow-backed South Ossetia.
“...Sarkozy caught the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov by the lapel of his jacket, and called him a liar...,” an American diplomat reported in a memo released by the whistle-blower website and quoted by French daily Le Monde.
“Sarkozy seems to have warned Russia that its position as a ‘major power´ had been seriously damaged by its refusal to respect its obligations,” said the document.
The incident in early September 2008 was recounted to US diplomats in Moscow by a French diplomat involved in negotiations.