French FM confirms Russian troops’ withdrawal from Georgia
French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, says Russia has met the deadline to withdraw its peacekeepers from the security zones on Georgia's border with South Ossetia. He is on a visit to Georgia to check that other terms of the French-brokered ceasefire.
Together with EU observers, Bernard Kouchner was touring Georgian villages in the battle zone surrounding South Ossetia, including Gori.
After that had meetings with Georgian foreign minister and country’s president Mikhail Saakashvili.
“Russia has partially complied with the agreement, although the agreement is not complete but it is being fulfilled gradually. This is a very complicated and long process,” Kouchner said.
According to the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan the Russian troops had to be leave Georgia till October 10, but the withdrawal was completed two days ahead of schedule.
Kouchner underlined that Russia has pulled out most of the troops, who were in the buffer zone, but its soldiers are still stationed in Akhalgori district of South Ossetia. Georgia claims that Akhalgori is also one of the buffer zones and therefore it comes under the troop withdrawal agreement.
The Georgian also leader demanded the European Union to send organize a commission to investigate alleged ethnic cleansing against Georgians in the South Ossetian conflict zone.
Saakashvili accused Russia of annexing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He said Georgia would never put up with their secession and that it would seek their return under its sovereignty.
Meanwhile, people in South Ossetia say there are afraid of new Georgian provocations now when the Russian troops are gone.
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