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Was Nicolas Sarkozy Bullied By Vladimir Putin?

J.N. PAQUET photo
Was Nicolas Sarkozy Bullied By Vladimir Putin?
A documentary on the rise of Vladimir Putin to power screened yesterday on French TV claims to have shed new lights on the odd start in the relationship between former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart.

The documentary screened yesterday night on French public channel France 2 "Le Mystère Poutine" (The Putin Mystery) may have shed new lights on what happened in 2007 at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm when Nicolas Sarkozy, who had just recently been elected president of France, appeared at a press conference breathless, which some journalists thought might have been caused by some heavy alcohol consumption with the Russian president.

In the documentary, however, a well-known French journalist who was held hostage by Daesh in Syria for 10 months and who wrote a book on Putin’s networks in France (“La France russe : Enquête surles réseaux de Poutine”), Nicolas Hénin, explains that Sarkozy was absolutely not drunk, but KO.

Hénin goes on to describe a private meeting between Nicolas Sarkozy and Vladimir Putin that took place before Sarkozy's Press conference, and that has been reported to him, in which the then French president is said to have had a cowboy attitude at first towards his Russian counterpart, telling him that from now on, “there will be no more taboo. The hundreds of dead in Chechnya, it's unacceptable. The Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya who has been assassinated, this too is unacceptable...”

The journalist explains that Putin, after having remained silent the whole time, kept quiet a bit longer when Sarkozy had finished talking and only stared at him.

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He then opened his mouth to ask: “Are you done, now?” As Sarkozy answered “Yes,” Putin is said to have launched his verbal counter-attack: “I am going to explain this to you... See the size of your country?... See the size of my country?... Either you continue to talk to me with that tone of voice and I smash you to pieces... Or you calm down and you will see, as you just became president of France, I can make you the King of Europe!”

According to Nicolas Hénin, the reason why a few minutes later Nicolas Sarkozy appeared so shaken at his G8 Press conference was not because he was drunk, but rather because he had been verbally and morally knocked-out by the Russian president.

On that day, something definitely happened for Sarkozy suddenly became a fervent supporter of Putin.

His support has never faded since...

If Nicolas Hénin's claims are true (this is quite difficult to prove, unless one of the protagonists confirms them or if someone possesses an audio or video of the scene) and that Vladimir Putin has indeed threatened and bullied the newly elected president of the fifth world power, one can only imagine how the Russian president may behave with leaders of smaller nations in order to get what he wants for Russia and turn them into allies against their nation's own interests.


Nicolas Sarkozy and his team have been reached for comment but are yet to respond. We'll update the story should we hear back from them.


Please join the conversation over Sarkozy and Putin on Twitter: Follow @jnpaquet and use the hashtag #iceberg

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This article is partly an excerpt from the book "Brexit. The Tip of The Populist Iceberg?" available in print, eBook and audiobook on Amazon.

(Photograph Credit © Palinchak |

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