Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius has criticized statements by former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy on EU-Russia relations, saying that the former French leader missed a good opportunity "to keep silent".

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Nicolas Sarkozy and Vladimir Putin
© Reuters/Scanpix

The statement echoed the words that Sarkozy's predecessor, Jacques Chirac, said about Eastern Europe back in 2003 for supporting the US stance on Iraq.

The Lithuanian minister tweeted a link to Sarkozy's statements about the mutual sanctions between the European Union and Russia at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

"Deja entendu: a good opportunity was lost to keep silent...," Linkevičius commented on his Twitter feed.

Speaking about the possibility for Russia to be the first one to lift sanctions for the EU and expect the same response from the community, Sarkozy said: "And the strongest should reach out a hand, because the strongest player is Russia, represented by President (Vladimir) Putin."

The former French president stated that Russia would gain "worldwide" recognition for taking the step first.

Russian government officials rejected the offer.

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