Wednesday, September 10, 2008

US hails Russian pullout

The US State Department has welcomed Russia's agreement to “some firm dates” for withdrawing its troops from Georgia proper, but said it must live up to its commitment to a full pullout.

At a summit with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev late on Monday, French President Sarkozy received assurances that Moscow would pull troops out of Georgia proper in a month but got no guarantees that they would leave the disputed Georgian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“We fully support President Sarkozy in trying to get Russia to live up to its original agreement back in August”, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters, in a first reaction to the Sarkozy-Medvedev meeting. “We welcome the fact that Russia has agreed to some firm dates for withdrawing their troops from Georgia”, he said.

McCormack also welcomed the commitment by the European Union, whose rotating Presidency is currently held by France, to deploy 200 monitors in Georgia which he said is “linked to the full withdrawal” of the Russian troops. “What Russia needs to do now is to live up to its agreements. It has not done so in the past”, McCormack said.

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