EU sends 200 observers to the Caucasus

The EU Council has formally agreed to send 200 observers to Georgia to make sure Tbilisi abides by the Medvedev-Sarkozy peace plan. The EU observers are due to replace Russian peacekeepers in the security zone by October 1.

Russia, for its part will withdraw its peacekeeping contingent by October 10.

The peacekeepers were brought in after Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. Russia insists the observers should only stay on the Georgian side of the border and not in the territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Last week Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the number of UN and OSCE observers should be the same as before August 7, 2008. Lavrov also believes the mandate of these observers should be agreed with Tskhinval and Sukhum.