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Russia’s Medvedev ends peace-enforcement operation in Georgia

Dmitry Medvedev, the President of Russia, has decided to end the peace-enforcement operation in Georgia.

“I have made a decision to end the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace. The goal has been achieved,” Medvedev said at a work meeting with Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Chief of Staff, Nikolai Makarov in the Kremlin.

"The security of our peacekeepers and civilians has been restored," Medvedev said. "The aggressor has been punished and suffered very significant losses. Its armed forces have been disorganized," Medvedev said

The president ordered Serdyukov and Makarov to suppress any outbursts of resistance in South Ossetia.

"If there are any emerging hotbeds of resistance or any aggressive actions, you should take steps to destroy them," he said.

Russia's foreign minister says Georgia's president must leave office and is demanding that Georgian troops stay out of South Ossetia for good.

Sergey Lavrov also says that Moscow won't talk to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. He says the best thing for Saakashvili to do "would be to step down."

Lavrov's statement sets a tough stage for Russia's talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy who is heading to Moscow Tuesday to negotiate an EU-brokered truce for the fierce conflict over Georgia's breakaway region.

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