France says Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has promised that Russian troops will begin leaving Georgia at mid-day Monday.
The office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy says the withdrawal
commitment came Saturday in a telephone call between the French and
Russian leaders. Mr. Sarkozy's office says he warned Mr. Medvedev of
"serious consequences" if Moscow fails to implement the cease-fire deal
Russian troops on Saturday began drawing back from the center of
Igeoti, a town only about 50 kilometers outside the Georgian capital,
In Washington on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the cease-fire calls for troops from both sides
to pull back to positions held before the outbreak of hostilities
August seventh. She said the cease-fire permits a limited number of
Russian peacekeepers to stay temporarily in some areas, until European
But she said the deal does not permit the Russians to block Georgia's main east-west highway or to enter Georgian urban areas.
In Tbilisi today, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili repeated his
vow that Georgia will never give up any of its territory, a reference
to the pro-Russian breakaway Georgian territories of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. He spoke alongside visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Later, speaking on CNN television, he accused Russia of widening its zone of Georgian occupation.
Russian diplomats have said Russia will never abandon Russian-speaking populations in either breakaway territory.
Combat between Georgian troops and separatists in South Ossetia erupted
10 days ago, when Georgian forces entered South Ossetia to regain
control of the territory. Russia, which launched an invasion days
later, says it acted to protect its citizens in South Ossetia.
The U.S. military and the United Nations refugee agency have promised
to send more supplies into Georgia, to help the estimated 120-thousand
people displaced by the conflict.