During an interview with France 2 TV channel, Sarkozy underscored that Europe should cooperate with Russia on the Syrian crisis.
"I would never carry out a policy of sanctions against Russia. […] We need Russia in order to resolve the crisis and end the Syrian drama. It would be a mistake to create conditions for a new cold war with Russia," he said.
Sarkozy added that the West "made a big mistake" when it turned from diplomacy to sanctions in 2014, after Crimea reunited with Russia and a conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine.
"I think that the destinies of Europe and Russia are connected. We need to cooperate. Once again, in order to resolve the crisis in Syria, we need a coalition and we need Russia," he said.
According to him, Syrian President Bashar Assad cannot be part of Syria’s future.
"As for Assad, now we need everyone for the restoration of Syria. So Assad’s resignation should be a precondition. But in the future, there will be no place for Assad in Syria," Sarkozy suggested.