Russian Soldiers Withdraw from Perevi
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Oct.'10 / 22:59

Russian troops pulled back from a small village of Perevi at the western part of administrative border of breakaway South Ossetian on Monday evening.

Georgia said the withdrawal was "a step made in the right direction."

"The de-occupation of each village is of outmost importance for Georgia and especially for the population residing in those villages," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 18.

"However, it should be emphasized that the withdrawal of Russian occupational forces from Perevi is just a miniscule step in comparison with commitments envisaged by the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 which Russia still has to comply with," it said.

Russian forces in the village were controlling a small local road, which was linking a nearby South Ossetian village to the rest of the breakaway region. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, said on October 14, when the announcement about the intention to pull out from Perevi was made, that Russian border guard troops, had built a new route alternative to the one running through Perevi and Russian forces were ready to withdraw.

The village of Perevi administratively falls under the Sachkhere district and was the only area outside the administrative borders of breakaway South Ossetia, which remained under the Russian control following the August, 2008 war. In December, 2008 Russian troops briefly pulled back from the village, but re-entered and re-installed checkpoints there only hours after the withdrawal. Russia cited a prompt deployment of the Georgian Interior Ministry forces in Perevi as a reason behind the decision to retake control over the village.

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