Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged √¢‚Ç¨≈ìby the balls√¢‚Ç¨¬ù √¢‚Ç¨‚Äù a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the √É‚Ä∞lysée Palace.
The Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. √¢‚Ç¨≈ìI am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,√¢‚Ç¨¬ù Mr Putin declared.
Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” √¢‚Ç¨‚Äù he asked.
“Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?”
Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”