Saturday, August 16, 2008

Moscow: versions of signed peace agreement are not identical

According to Lenta.ru [my tr.],

Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has signed the agreement for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in South Ossetia without the introductory part which is an integral part of the document. A diplomat said that the issue would be clarified through diplomatic channels.

According to Lavrov, in the copy of the agreement bearing Saakashvili’s signature received from American diplomats the following text is missing: "The principles set out below are supported by the presidents of Russia and France, and the presidents of Russia and France call on the parties to sign this document."

The Russian minister stressed that Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and the leaders of the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have signed the document in this form.

Lavrov also said that the Russian president has given instructions for the peace plan to be implemented, but according to the diplomat, Russia's actions will depend on the implementation of its accords by the other parties.

In addition, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation added that the withdrawal of forces to the agreed border security zone will require as much time as is necessary. Lavrov also said that the basic accords do not specify the maximum size of the peacekeeping contingent which Russia can bring into the conflict zone.

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