Russia to post 7,600 troops in Georgia’s rebel regions

The Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili’s response to the updated ceasefire deal French president Nicolas Sarkozy brought from Moscow Tuesday, Sept. 9, was that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were inseparable parts of his country.
The Russians, “should get the hell out of the territories they control,” he told the European delegation led by the French president.
Moscow shot back later: Russia will keep 7,600 soldiers in the breakaway regions after its withdrawal from the rest of Georgia
Monday, president Dmitry Medvedev Monday offered to pull Russian troops out of Georgia, including the buffer zones – though not South Ossetia and Abkhazia – within a month, after at least 200 European Union observers were deployed there by Oct. 1 to monitor the pullout.
debkafile‘s sources note that French president Nicolas Sarkozy failed to persuade the Russian president to stand by the first ceasefire stipulation to return to the positions held prior to the Aug. 7 conflict. Tuesday, Moscow and the two regions agreed to formally establish diplomatic relations.
Far from happy with the outcome of the EU’s mission, President George W. Bush Monday rescinded a long-negotiated civilian nuclear cooperation accord with Russia. Washington stands by its demand for the withdrawal of Russian forces from the two regions and the restoration of Georgian territorial integrity.
Sarkozy said he handed Medvedev a letter from Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili promising not to use force in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This letter was not mentioned in the Tbilisi talks Tuesday.
The EU party said international talks on the two regions would take place in Geneva on Oct. 15. Moscow has meanwhile said it will not attend, thereby devaluing the event.

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