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16 Aug, 2008 04:03

Moscow receives copy of South Ossetia ceasefire plan

Russia's Foreign Ministry says Moscow has received a copy of the ceasefire plan for South Ossetia. Earlier, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili signed the French-brokered agreement aimed at bringing stability to the region.

The original document already had the signatures of the leaders of the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Both Russian and Georgian troops will now return to the positions they were in before the crisis in the Georgian breakaway republic began.

However, Russian peacekeepers would take up additional security measures before an internationally accepted solution to the conflict is found.

U.S. Secretary of State and the Georgian President were locked behind closed doors for nearly five hours in Tbilisi, nearly double the time they were expected to hold talks. That's one of the reasons why many in Tbilisi speculate that the Georgian President was not too happy about the consessions he was asked to make. However, no reference was made to any of such consessions during the press conference after the meeting.

“Now with the signature of the Georgian President on the ceasefire accord all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them, must leave immediately. In order to stabilise the situation in Georgia we need international observers on the scene fast. And eventually we need a more robust and impartial international force that will follow those observers,” Rice said following her meeting with Saakashvili.

For most Georgians Rice's visit was a strong show of American support for their country. On several occasions the U.S. Secretary of State said that the U.S. recognises the territorial integrity of Georgia and believes in the country's democracy.

Saakashvili said a good agreement was in place that would help rebuild the economy of his country.

He also accused Russia of using weapons of mass destruction and cluster bombs.

Meanwhile, RT correspondent Paula Slier has visited the Georgian town of Gori which the country's authorities claim was badly hit by the Russian troops. Are there signs of destruction and bombing in Gori? Watch the report and decide yourself.

Czech criticise neighbours

Meanwhile, the Czech President Vaclav Klaus has criticised his colleagues from Poland and the Baltic states for lambasting Russia's actions in South Ossetia.

The Czech leader says he won't follow the line portraying Russia as bad and Georgia as good.

He dismissed the comparison of recent events with the so-called Prague spring, when Soviet tanks entered Czechoslovakia.

Klaus said the widespread recognition of Kosovo has influenced the problems in Georgia.

The Czech President also called on all sides to settle their differences as soon as possible.