According to Levitte, Sarkozy's diplomatic advisor, the French president misheard the balls remark. Sarkozy replied: "Hang him?" Putin then replied: "Why not? The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein." Sarkozy tried to dissuade Putin from this course of action, reasoning: "Yes, but do you want to end up like (US president George W.) Bush?"
Putin was briefly silenced before responding: "Ah, you have scored a point there!"
It is a sad state of affairs that Bush's America now appears in a Bond film in rather the same light as Brezhnev's Soviet Union used to. One can only hope that President Barack Obama can adopt the sort of policies that can get Bond back on our side.