Moscow accepts amended French-brokered ceasefire agreed by Georgia

The five-point document was first presented by French president Nicolas Sarkozy to President Dimitiy Medvedev in Moscow Tuesday, Aug. 12, after Moscow halted military operations in Georgia. It was later amended by Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said his government does not object to the changes.
Both sides were skeptical about the chances of the truce holding up, as reciprocal charges of violations were hurled immediately.
Both sides are bound to abandon the use of force, stop all military actions for good and allow free access to humanitarian aid. Georgian troops must return to their places of permanent deployment; Russian forces to their pre-conflict positions.
The sixth clause referring to negotiations on the future status of breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia was changed to “discussion on how to ensure “security and stability” there in response to the Georgian demand not to compromise its territorial integrity.
The plan is being reviewed by the EU foreign ministers in Brussels Wednesday.
Russia claims the conflict has left more than 2,000 civilians dead, while Georgia puts the death toll in Georgia at 175 people, mainly civilians. The UN estimates 100,000 have been displaced from their homes.
In a show of anti-Russian solidarity, the leaders of five former Soviet republics – the three Baltic nations, Ukraine and Poland – flew into Tbilisi and stood alongside the Georgian president at a mass flag-waving rally in parliament square Tuesday night. They also joined him in a fiery anti-Russian news conference Wednesday morning.
The United States cancelled a joint naval exercise with Russia due to take place in the Sea of Japan August-15-23, in the wake of the Georgian conflict.

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