The deal brokered last week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been dismissed by NATO's secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as unacceptable, as it cedes too much ground to Russia, the FT reports:
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr de Hoop Scheffer complained that Russia, which has pledged to withdraw from buffer zones inside Georgia that adjoin South Ossetia and Abkhazia, is being permitted to retain a military presence inside the two breakaway regions.
This was, he said, in direct contravention of an earlier six-point plan from President Sarkozy that called for a return to the status quo before the conflict broke out. "If the Russians are staying in South Ossetia with so many forces, I do not consider this as a return to the status quo," he said. "The option of keeping Russian forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is not acceptable."
The new NATO-Georgia commission, first announced on August 19, held its first session in Tbilisi today.
See also in this blog: Sarkozy agreement = no deal