Georgia Says Russia Defies Commitment to Pull Out Troops
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Aug.'08 / 19:18

Contrary to Russia’s announcement on launching troops’ withdrawal, movement of the Russian military on the Georgian territory continues, Eka Zguladze, the Georgian deputy interior minister, said on August 18.

She cited the incident that took place on Monday, when the Russian armored personnel carriers made their way at Igoeti by rolling into the Georgian police vehicles blocking the road. The footage of the incident was aired by the Georgian television stations.

“The Georgian police post at Igoeti [on a halfway between town of Gori and Tbilisi], which is at least 30 kilometers away from the actual [South Ossetian] conflict zone, noticed an approaching Russian military convoy, involving armored vehicles packed with soldiers,” Zguladze said. “Because we consider that the ceasefire agreement is already in force – we [the Georgian side] is committed to this agreement – and because today the Russian side announced [about launch of withdrawal of troops], the Georgian police blocked the road to prevent the Russian armored vehicles’ further movement.”

“They have not informed us neither about the purpose of their movement, nor about the direction of their movement,” she added.

It was not immediately clear where the four APCs were moving to. The road through which the APCs made their way, leads to the north-east from Igoeti, which is on the major highway. Presumably, the APC were moving in direction of the villages in South Ossetia which are relatively remote from Tskhinvali, in the Akhalgori district (Leningori as it is still called in South Ossetia).  

Meanwhile, the Georgian Interior Ministry also reported another incident on August 18, wherein twelve Russian armored vehicles tried to make their way from Khashuri towards two other towns – six armored vehicles towards Sachkhere in the north from the major higher and other six towards Borjomi to the south from the highway. The Russian military, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry, were stopped by the police and both of the convoys returned back to Khashuri without any further complications.

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