Pierre Lellouche was for many years a staunchly Atlanticist politician in a Gaullist-minded France. Currently serving President Nicolas Sarkozy as his State Secretary for European Affairs, Lellouche follows Sarkozy's line in defending the French Mistral warship sale to Russia, regardless of its corrosive effects on NATO. Visiting the Baltic States –where serious concerns have been voiced over the possible Mistral sale to Russia– Lellouche insinuated that other NATO countries might sell their warships to Russia, if France does not do so. Claiming that the warship sale would merely "turn the page on the Cold War," Lellouche invited the Baltic States to follow the Franco-German example and seek reconciliation with Russia, overcoming a difficult history (BNS, February 24, 25).
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