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Georgia gets the jitters as Russia outlines its requirements

12.08.2008
 
Georgia gets the jitters as Russia outlines its requirements

Presidents of Russia and France, Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy, have come to an agreement on the regulation of the conflict in South Ossetia. The agreement is based on six principles, Interfax reports.

Medvedev described the six principles during a joint press conference with his French counterpart.

“The first principle – not to use force. The second – to definitively stop all military actions. The third – to provide free access to humanitarian aid. The fourth – Georgia’s armed forces must return to the places of their permanent deployment. The fifth – Russia’s armed forces will be withdrawn to the positions preceding the beginning of the military actions. The sixth – the start of the international discussion of issues of the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by means of guaranteeing their solid security,” Medvedev said.

When asked why Russia decided to halt military actions in S. Ossetia today, Medvedev said: “The operation, which the Russian forces were conducting, has brought its results. That is why we have ended it.”

“It was supposed to be done today, not yesterday or tomorrow. We herewith made a temporal decision to cease fire until the problem is entirely solved within the framework of the principles which we have just named,” the Russian president said.

Dmitry Medvedev strongly refuted statements from the Georgian administration which said that Georgia had ceased fire in the conflict zone two days ago.

“As for the affirmation of the Georgian president, who said that Georgia ceased fire in the conflict zone two days ago – these are lies.” Medvedev said. “The Georgian forces were shelling peacemakers. Unfortunately, there were victims yesterday. In other words, there was no cease fire with Georgia,” he added.

“This is what differs those hell-raisers from normal people: it is very hard to stop them when they smell blood,” Medvedev said.

Russia ’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, emphasized that the Georgian troops must return to their barracks.

“All the rest will have no point without this condition. South Ossetian residents will hardly understand that they can return and restore their homes without this condition. If Georgia does not accept this condition, we will be forced to take other measures not to let the current situation, which has been formed as a result of Georgia’s aggression, repeat itself. This is the absolute condition for everything else,” Lavrov said.

“The fact that the president of France has completely agreed with that is important. We hope that the president of France will inform the Georgian administration of these principles,” the Russian foreign minister said.

In the meantime, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili goes into a tail-spin as he senses Russia’s anger. He announced Tuesday that Georgia was going to pull out from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a post-Soviet organization which unites nearly all ex-Soviet republics. Saakashvili made the announcement on a meeting in front of the building of the Georgian parliament in the center of Tbilisi.

“We are bidding final farewell to the Soviet Union. The USSR will never come back here. We urge Ukraine and other members of the CIS to leave the organization which Russia administers,” ITAR-TASS quoted the Georgian president as saying.

In addition, Saakashvili stated that he declared the Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupation troops.

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