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8 Oct, 2008 00:12

Russian troops withdrawal nearing completion

All Russian peacekeepers are set to dismantle their checkpoints in the security zone around South Ossetia before October 10. They will be replaced with EU monitors, who are watching the Russian pullout.

In accordance with the Medevdev-Sarkozy plan, the peacekeepers are now leaving the buffer zone. Six checkpoints have already been dismantled and troops will be withdrawn from the territory within 24 hours.

“We’re cutting the barbed wire. We want to leave as quickly as possible,” says peacekeeper Dmitry Rybin.

The Russian peacekeepers’ commander invited the Europeans to witness the process.

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.

Marat Kulakhmetov, head of Russia’s peacekeepers, said: “Now we’re removing the barriers from the posts. Meanwhile, they are continuing to operate. Everything’s going well so far. We have informed the European Union representatives, who are monitoring the work.”

Russian soldiers leave Georgia

EU observers replace Russian peacekeepers