Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Tiblisi says that Russian aircraft are bombing Georgian villages although Russia’s president had ordered an end to military operations.
“Despite the Russian president’s claims earlier this morning that military operations against Georgia have been suspended, at this moment, Russian fighter jets are bombarding two Georgian villages outside South Ossetia,” said a statement from the foreign ministry.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Tuesday that Russian forces were ordered to stop military operation against Georgia to encourage Tbilisi to enter peace talks.
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Russia and Georgia have been engaged in a military standoff since Tbilisi started a massive military offensive against South Ossetia on Friday in order to regain control of the breakaway region, which declared its independence from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Anatoly Nogovitsyn, a Russian military spokesman, said on Tuesday that Moscow was monitoring the situation and would punish ‘provocative’ actions by Georgia.
Meanwhile, French President Nicholas Sarkozy has arrived in Moscow to hold talks with Medvedev over the crisis.
Sarkozy said it was ‘normal’ that Moscow would defend Russian-speaking people outside Russia, but added the international community should protect ‘the integrity, sovereignty and independence of Georgia’.
The French president will later fly to Tbilisi to meet Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.
This article was posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 5:17 am