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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Papers Make Short Work of Sarkozy

Newspapers poked fun at French President Nicolas Sarkozy this week in the wake of a French-Russian summit that offered plenty of smiles but little in the way of progress on serious issues.

Journalists zeroed in on Sarkozy's high-heeled boots, questioned his apparently confused knowledge of Moscow geography and compared him to Napoleon.

At Wednesday's joint news conference with President Vladimir Putin, the diminutive Sarkozy seemed to have trouble balancing on the boots, which were apparently designed to raise him to a height equal to Putin's, Vremya Novostei reported.

"When he reached President Vladimir Putin, waiting with outstretched hand in the center of the hall, it turned out that both presidents were of absolutely identical height," the newspaper said.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta put the height of Sarkozy's heels at 5 centimeters. Putin himself, at a reported height of 170 centimeters, is shorter than many world leaders.

Many newspapers chose to lead with Sarkozy's gushing statements about how he had long dreamed of being in the Kremlin and how delightful it was to wake up in the morning and see Red Square. "This means very much to me," Sarkozy said.

"The question quickly arose: where did the French president wake up?" Moskovsky Komsomolets wrote on its web site. "Someone jokingly suggested that he spent the night in the Lenin Mausoleum."

Sarkozy actually spent the night in the National Hotel, which is close to Red Square, but does not have a direct view of it. Izvestia noted that it would take "certain exertions" to see Red Square from the hotel.

Other newspapers linked Sarkozy's statement about his long-held dream of being in the Kremlin to the ambition of another Frenchman: Napoleon, who invaded Russia in 1812 and managed to occupy Moscow before ultimately retreating.

"The Napoleon complex lives in every Frenchman," Komsomolskaya Pravda wrote.