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Cease-Fire Accord Specifies Russian Troop Withdrawal from Georgia
American Forces Press Service ^ | Gerry J. Gilmore

Posted on 08/15/2008 5:58:26 PM PDT by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2008 – A cease-fire agreement signed today by the president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia calls for Russian troops to immediately leave his country, America’s senior diplomat said in the Georgian capital today.

“And now, with the signature of the Georgian president on this cease-fire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said during a news conference in Tbilisi with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at her side.

President Bush dispatched Rice to Europe to assist in resolving a now week-long international crisis involving Georgia and Russia. On Aug. 8, Russian tanks and troops crossed the border into the contested northern Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after Georgian military forces had clashed with separatists in South Ossetia the day before.

The Russian troops caused Georgian forces to retreat south. Since then, the Russians have lodged themselves in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as in some Georgian municipalities farther south.

Rice was in Tbilisi today, she said, to demonstrate “the solidarity of the United States with Georgia and its people in this moment of crisis.”

The United States, she said, supports Georgia’s independence, its territorial integrity and its democratically elected government.

“That is America’s position, and in my discussions with my European colleagues, it is the position of the Europeans, as well,” Rice said.

Rice was in France yesterday to consult with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. France and the United States worked together to craft the cease-fire agreement.

“The Russian attack on Georgia had profound implications and will have profound implications for Russia’s relations with its neighbors and with the world,” Rice said in Tbilisi. “But, our most-urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia.”

With today’s cease-fire agreement, what’s needed in Georgia now “are international observers on the scene -- fast,” Rice said in Tbilisi. Finnish authorities have indicated that regional security monitors affiliated with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe could be sent to Georgia in a matter of days, she said. Finland’s Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb is the organization’s chairman for 2008.

“And, eventually, we need a more robust and impartial peacekeeping international force that would follow those monitors,” Rice added.

The Georgian president accused Russia of conducting a premeditated invasion of his country.

“We are under [a] Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now,” Saakashvili declared. “And, we want to end [this] Russian invasion and occupation.”

The United States and other nations are providing humanitarian assistance to the Georgian people, Rice said.

“Access must be immediate and unimpeded for those humanitarian efforts,” Rice said. “When the security situation in Georgia is stabilized, we will turn immediately to reconstruction.”

Rice urged that Georgians who were displaced from their homes during the fighting be allowed to return.

The Defense Department-enabled U.S. humanitarian relief mission to Georgia continues, Rice said. U.S. military transport planes already have delivered millions of dollars worth of humanitarian supplies to Georgians rendered homeless by the fighting.

“That mission will be vigorous and ongoing,” Rice said.

Meanwhile, the United States is working with the Georgian government, the G-7 world economic organization and the International Monetary Fund “to rapidly develop an economic support package for the Georgian economy to build on its demonstrated track record and to resume its rapid growth,” Rice said.

The economic package, Rice said, is designed to “restore Georgia’s economy and reinforce investor confidence as Georgia returns to its position as the leading economy in the region.”

Rice said it is imperative that “Russian forces leave Georgia at once.” The world, she said, needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity and its independence.

“This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when a great power invaded a small neighbor and overthrew its government,” Rice said, in recalling the Soviet Union’s invasion of that European nation. “The free world will now have to wrestle with the profound implications of this Russian attack on its neighbor for security in the region and beyond.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: caucasus; ceasefire; geopolitics; georgia; russiantroops; troop; war; withdrawal

1 posted on 08/15/2008 5:58:27 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

“G7”, so does this mean Russia is out?

2 posted on 08/15/2008 6:08:56 PM PDT by autumnraine
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To: autumnraine

Sounds that way.

3 posted on 08/15/2008 6:16:08 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: All

I got an idea, lets let Russia pay for the rebuilding of the Republic of Georgia

4 posted on 08/15/2008 6:19:53 PM PDT by barnbarn_2000
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To: SandRat

Is they down there between Macon and Valdosta?
They better bring some gnat spray with ‘em.

5 posted on 08/15/2008 6:26:00 PM PDT by DOGHEAD
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No Ex-Pres Car-DUH, wrong Georgia; AGAIN! < / sarc

6 posted on 08/15/2008 6:28:02 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: barnbarn_2000

We might “let” the Russians repay, but who would “make” them repay. ;-)

7 posted on 08/15/2008 6:28:27 PM PDT by doc1019 (I was taught to respect my elders, but it's getting harder to find one.)
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To: SandRat

Discussion topic - What were Russia’s strategic goals, and did they achieve any of them? If not, why not? This planned invasion obviously had certain objectives, but what were they?

I am still unclear on whether they now control a port now suitable for their navy, or if they have any direct control over the pipeline in Georgia.

They have antagonized some former SSR’s and Warsaw Pact countries, caused Ukraine to place restrictions on their fleet’s use of their port (unclear how the real-world application of this works), and have caused the US military to begin forming a much larger presence in Georgia under the ‘humanitarian’ tag.

If I read correctly, there has been silence from all central asian former SSR’s, as well as Armenia and Azerb. Belarus obviously is pro-soviet.

8 posted on 08/15/2008 6:39:29 PM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: WoofDog123

I don’t have the answers to your questions.

9 posted on 08/15/2008 6:45:26 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Does anyone really think that Russia (Putin) is going to voluntarily leave Georgia? If you do, you are smokin’ dope.

10 posted on 08/15/2008 6:56:46 PM PDT by Parmy
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To: Parmy

Not intelligent folks.

11 posted on 08/15/2008 6:58:29 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

Putin is loudly ignoring the cease fire so far. Better not let that go for too long.

12 posted on 08/15/2008 7:00:29 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: WoofDog123

They have destroyed a lot of Georgian armor, put their military units on the run (maybe in chaos but who knows) and wrecked the civilian infrastructure. I think that’s far short of their goals but they may only need to wait it out and win the propaganda game for a few weeks or months before completing the move.

13 posted on 08/15/2008 7:06:04 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: SandRat

I think this is a long term strategy by Russia to control the price of oil. The reason why the price is going down has to do with America just talking about exploration and drilling for oil. We actually havent done much of it yet, which kinda goes to show how bad things are in the USA with energy policy.

Russia desires to be the USSR of old. Im sure it is insulting for them to see republics form off of thier old “possessions”.

I think Russia is gambling that the price of crude will continue to go down, so in a way this is like them investing thier profits. They have successfuly destablized Georgia and now the other block countries know one of them are next.

14 posted on 08/15/2008 7:38:18 PM PDT by barnbarn_2000
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To: WoofDog123
What were Russia’s strategic goals, and did they achieve any of them?

They want to establish a sphere of influence in surrounding states and to prevent at all costs any of these states from joining NATO. So one purpose of the invasion was to show these countries that the West cannot or will not protect them; that Russia, which is right next door, has an army that has to be reckoned with; and they should think twice about getting too close to the US.

Russia would also like to have SOLE control of the flow of oil from the Caspian, so that they can bludgeon other countries into following policies favorable to Russia. At the outset of the invasion, they were demanding that the Georgian pro-Western President step down - and were obviously intending to set up a puppet government that would give them effective control over the pipeline that goes from the Caspian through Georgia and Turkey to the Mediterranean.

Have they achieved what they wanted? That will depend on how strong the response is from the West. The result of the US election will have a lot to do with it.

15 posted on 08/15/2008 7:57:18 PM PDT by BusterBear
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