Daily Archives: July 4, 2007

The German presidency of the EU will be remembered for the deal on fighting climate change and the outline agreement on a replacement for the constitution.

But aides to European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso’s speak of another less remarked upon achievement of Angela Merkel during her stint in the hotseat: the development and delivery of a tough European line towards Vladimir Putin – epitomised at the fractious Samara summit in Russia.

After years of disunity and fawning by Gerhard Schroder, Ms Merkel’s predecessor, and Jacques Chirac, the former French president, Europe now has a set of leaders prepared to be frank with Moscow. Nicolas Sarkozy, whose family hail from Hungary, and Gordon Brown are not starry-eyed about Putin.