Russia to Keep Troops In Georgia

9 09 2008

Russia says it will keep 7,600 troops in Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after withdrawing from the rest of the country.

On Monday, Russia agreed to withdraw its troops from positions within Georgia, taken up during the recent conflict, by mid-October.

But the Russian president ordered troop bases be set up in the regions.

Russia’s foreign minister said the troops were expected to remain in place “for the foreseeable future”.

“They will be there a long time,” Sergei Lavrov said from Moscow.

“This is absolutely necessary, so as not to allow a repeat of armed actions,” he added.

Mr Lavrov said that both regions – which Russia has now recognised as independent – should also be able to participate in talks on Georgia scheduled for next month in Geneva with “fully fledged” places.


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