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Russia Tries to Formalize Buffer Zones
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 Aug.'08 / 19:49

Russia said on August 30 it was ready to allow international monitors, including those from the EU, to be deployed in the so-called Russian-created “security zone” around the two breakaway regions inside undisputed Georgian territory.

“Russia is in full compliance with the six-point” ceasefire agreement, the Kremlin said in a press release after a phone conversation between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on August 30.

During the phone conversation, which was held upon the British PM’s initiate, the Kremlin said the Russian side called for “the dispatch of additional OSCE observers to the security zone and the setting up of an impartial monitoring of the acts of the Georgian government.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the matter was also discussed during a phone conversation between Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on August 30.

“The involvement of EU representatives in the monitoring of the fulfillments of commitments on the non-resumption of hostilities and provocations in the zones of responsibility around South Ossetia and Abkhazia were discussed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

The discussions followed Lavrov's promise on August 27 that Russia would pull out its troops from the “security zones” if “reliable international control” were established there so as to prevent possible Georgian attacks on Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The remarks and statements of the Russian officials indicate that Moscow is only willing to allow western observers into the Russian-created buffer zones, but not inside South Ossetia itself.

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