Saturday, August 23, 2008

Germany, U.S. Say Russia’s Pull Out Incomplete [civil.ge]

Germany, U.S. Say Russia’s Pull Out Incomplete

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Aug.'08 / 22:10

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=19276

The White House and the German government spokesmen said on August 23, that Russia has yet to fully comply with its committeemen undertaken by the six-point ceasefire accord.

“Putting up permanent facilities and checkpoints are inconsistent with the agreement,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. “We are in contact with the various parties to obtain clarification.”

Although Russia pulled back its troops from the town of Gori and key east-west highway in the central Georgia, the Russian forces keep checkpoints just outside port town of Poti and the town of Senaki in the western Georgia. Russian troops also have checkpoints on Georgia’s undisputed areas in the north of Gori. The closest one is just five kilometers away from Gori at the village of Karaleti.

“The [German] government expects Russia to complete the withdrawal immediately in accordance with the six-point plan also signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and pull back its troops to the lines [held] before the outbreak of hostilities, as was agreed,” the German government’s spokesman, Thomas Steg, said in a statement, according to Reuters.

“According to our information, Russia has begun its withdrawal from Georgia, but not completed it,” he added.

He also said that German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, had spoken by phone to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on August 23.

“The German government expects the remaining Russian troops also to pull back from the zone south of South Ossetia, and for them to be replaced by an international mechanism as quickly as possible, in accordance with the agreements,” Steg said.

In a separate statement Steg also said that Chancellor Merkel had proposed EU to hold “a neighborhood conference” for Georgia.

The German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said Merkel’s idea was Georgia’s neighboring countries like Armenia and Azerbaijan to participate in the conference, but not Russia, Reuters reported.

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