French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday stressed the need for the European Union to rebuild strong relations with Russia despite the concerns of many EU nations following the Russian invasion of Georgia.
Sarkozy told the EU's parliament that the world financial crisis made it even more important for the EU to have a good relationship with Russia.
"Given the state of the world, I don't think the world needs a crisis between Europe and Russia - that would be irresponsible," Sarkozy said. "Europe should not be an accomplice in starting another Cold War."
The 27 EU nations are split over whether to resume negotiations on a major political and economic cooperation agreement that were frozen after the invasion of Georgia in August.