French President Nicolas Sarkozy traveled to Vladimir Putin's dacha last night, where his tough talk apparently persuaded the Russian leader to back efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program. An ebullient Sarko talked of "an extremely positive change on the Russian side" to the Moscow press, reports the London Times. He didn't divulge details, but the two leaders will hold a joint press conference later today.
Sarkozy has not hesitated to criticize the Russian leader. In their talk last night he broached the topics of murdered journalists in Russia, oppression of gay activists, and strained Eastern European relations. Sarkozy is struggling to balance a new French openness to the former Soviet block while maintaining good relations with Russia.