Russia in full compliance with Georgia ceasefire: ministry

19th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Moscow said Tuesday it was in full compliance with the European Union-brokered ceasefire that ended its 2008 war with Georgia following the withdrawal of Russian troops from a Georgian town.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that the withdrawal put to rest any questions about the country's compliance with the agreement, negotiated between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

"With the withdrawal of the border checkpoint from Perevi, the question of our non-fulfilment of the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreements is finally closed," the ministry said.

"We hope that this step by the Russian side, aimed at decreasing tensions on the border between Georgia and South Ossetia, will receive an adequate and constructive response from the Georgian side and the international community."

Russian forces withdrew from the town of Perevi on the de facto border with Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region on Monday, leaving the last outpost they had occupied outside South Ossetia and Georgia's other rebel region, Abkhazia, since the war.

The move has hailed by international mediators but Georgia said it was only a "miniscule step" and accused Russia of continuing to violate the ceasefire.

Georgia has repeatedly accused Russia of breaching the ceasefire, which calls for the return of both sides' forces to pre-conflict positions, by keeping thousands of troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and by refusing to grant EU monitors access to the regions.

Russia recognised both regions as independent states after the war.

Russian forces poured into Georgia in August 2008 to repel a Georgian military attempt to retake Moscow-backed South Ossetia and occupied swathes of the country before mostly withdrawing inside the rebel regions.

© 2010 AFP

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