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8 Oct, 2008 16:31

Russian troops withdrawal complete - official

All Russian checkpoints in the security zone between Georgia and South Ossetia have been closed. The commander on the ground says almost all peacekeepers have left the area and pledges the full withdrawal by midnight.

Earlier the Reuters news agency quoting the Georgian Interior Ministry said all Russian personnel had left its territory.

Under a peace plan the units should leave the buffer zone between South Ossetia and Georgia by Friday. They have been there since the end of the conflict in August. According to the agreements, the outer line will be removed, with six checkpoints dismantled. The peacekeepers will stay by the inner line, which coincides with the actual border of South Ossetia.

The conditions of the Medevdev-Sarkozy plan are met by Russia, and the country’s president confirmed this at the First World Policy Conference in Evian, France. He said the Russian peacekeeping contingent will leave the security area in South Ossetia and Abkhazia at the end of Wednesday, by midnight. He also said that EU observers have been deployed in the zone, along the perimeter of the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with Georgia.

“We want them to live up to their functions and act as guarantors of the non-use of force, who could prevent any provocation on the part of the Tbilisi regime. This is what we agreed upon with the European Union,” said Medvedev.

Russian soldiers leave Georgia

EU observers replace Russian peacekeepers