Bangladesh News

Wednesday
Oct 18th
Home arrow News arrow International News arrow Troops will leave Georgia in their own time
Troops will leave Georgia in their own time PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 August 2008

Russian spokesman says

A senior Russian government spokesman said today the withdrawal of the country's forces from Georgia would take "a couple of weeks". Russian forces would leave in their own time, the spokesman said, and even after the main bulk of the Russian army had gone, that Russian peacekeepers would continue to occupy Georgia, reports The Guardian.

"The withdrawal of long military columns will start in a few days. We came here in a hurry to help civilians and Russian citizens and it will take as long as it takes," he said.
 
The spokesman said Georgia had misrepresented the ceasefire deal signed by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, and that under those terms Russia could station peacekeepers in Georgia indefinitely
 
"They [the Georgians] are perverting the agreement. The agreement doesn't indicate a specific time for withdrawal."
 
"The deal means we are able to take responsibility for the safety of our military personnel," he said. "Our withdrawal will take a few weeks."
 
However, at about the same time, the deputy chief of the general staff of the Russian army, Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, told reporters: "The pullback has started at such a pace that by the end of August 22 all the forces of the Russian Federation will be behind the line of our zone of responsibility." Russia has made conflicting statements over its intentions for much of the past week.
 
Some Russian tanks were seen leaving Georgia overnight. Reuters news agency reported 21 tanks, rocket launchers and armoured cars moved north through the Roki tunnel that separates the Ossetia region from Russia.
 
Elsewhere, the Russians appeared to be strengthening their grip. Troops were seen today digging trenches and setting up mortars around the western Georgian port of Poti.
 
The Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, said that Russian manoeuvres reflected "some kind of deception game".
 
"They don't show any sign that they want to give up control," he told a news conference in Tbilisi. "It looks like the word withdrawal is understood in different ways by different people."
 
Aid agencies have been trying to reach an estimated 159,000 people displaced by the conflict. The UN high commissioner for refugees reported today that 15,000 people in western Georgia were "in dire need of assistance" and cut off from the capital, Tbilisi.
 
Nato's special envoy for the Caucasus and central Asia, Bob Simmons, arrived in Tbilisi today for talks with the government over deepening cooperation with the alliance. He was accompanied by a team of specialists in civil emergency planning to help Georgia deal with its immediate humanitarian needs, but Simmons will also be discussing the rebuilding of Georgia's armed forces and the path to full Nato membership.
 
Georgia's deputy foreign minister, Giga Bokeria, welcomed comments made yesterday by David Miliband, Britain's foreign secretary, saying the formal process leading to Nato membership had already begun.
 
Bokeria told the Guardian that the Russian occupation had backfired and accelerated Georgia's progress towards Nato. But he said Georgia had suffered as a result of earlier Nato indecision over its membership potential.
 
"Some European states made an honest mistake not to make a clear and ambiguous signal to Russia, and Georgia has paid the price," Bokeria said.

Comments Add New
Write comment
Name:
Email:
  We don't publish your mail. See privacy policy.
Title:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
 
< Prev   Next >