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U.S. Tells Russia to Remove Forces From Georgia

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Helena Bedwell and Paul Abelsky
Saturday, Aug 16, 2008

The U.S. demanded Russia pull its troops out of Georgia “immediately,” after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili signed a European Union-brokered peace plan that ended five days of fighting.

“With the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters in the Georgian capital Tbilisi yesterday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev confirmed he would sign the accord brokered Aug. 12 and pledged to withdraw troops, French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said yesterday. President Medvedev spoke by telephone with his French counterpart, the current head of the EU, about steps toward getting the plan signed by all parties and both “expressed satisfaction” at the level of cooperation, the Kremlin said in a separate statement.

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Four days after Medvedev ordered a halt to hostilities, Russian troops are seizing military equipment at Georgian bases well beyond the breakaway South Ossetia region that sparked the conflict, according to Georgian and U.S. officials.

The Russians moved into three Georgian towns, Kaspi, Borjomi and Khashuri, after the cease-fire, Saakashvili told reporters in Tbilisi late yesterday.

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 4:39 am

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