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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sarkozy Vows Frank Talks With Putin

PARIS -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday that he would have a "frank discussion" with President Vladimir Putin this week about Putin's warning that his country could aim missiles at Europe.

The conservative and often blunt Sarkozy, who took office last month, will hold his first one-on-one talks as president with Putin at a Group of Eight summit, which starts Wednesday.

"I will listen attentively to him. He called for a frank dialogue. From my side, it will be frank," Sarkozy said.

Sarkozy has promised to confront Putin about human rights violations in Chechnya and about the slaying last October of journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

France's Foreign Ministry said a dialogue was necessary to allay Russian fears. "Considering President Putin's comments, profound discussion appeared necessary to dissipate the worries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told an online briefing Monday. "The American project, as it was presented to us, does not appear to have an impact on the equilibrium between Russia and the United States."