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Russia agrees troop withdrawal from Georgia heartland
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy reached in Moscow on Monday a new agreement on the implementation of a French-brokered cease-fire between Russia and Georgia.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (L), French President Nicolas Sarkozy (2nd L), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) take part in a joint news conference after their meeting at Meiendorf Castle outside Moscow, September 8, 2008. Medvedev agreed at Moscow talks on Monday to pull his troops out of Georgia proper within a month, Sarkozy said. [Agencies] 

New withdrawal deal

Georgian troops entered and shelled its breakaway region of South Ossetia on early August 8 in an attempt to regain control there. Russian forces then moved in and drove Georgian troops out of the region that was run by Russian peacekeeping forces.

A French-brokered cease-fire stopped the five-day war on August 12 in which Russia promised to withdraw its troops.

Moscow said earlier it has withdrawn all its troops from Georgia that drove Georgian troops out of South Ossetia during the war, but the West has been pressing Moscow on that.

"Russia is carrying out the cease-fire to the full scale," Medvedev said, claiming that Tbilisi is moving slowly in that aspect.

According to the new agreement read live on local TV channel by the head of state, Moscow agreed to withdraw its troops from the buffer zone around South Ossetia within one month and after international forces were deployed there.

Russia will also remove its checking-points and troops from the Black Sea port of Poti given a non-use-of-force guarantee from Georgia to its nearby breakaway region of Akbhazia, according to the new deal.

Moscow agreed to deploy 200 EU observers to Georgia by October 1 to monitor the withdrawal, and an international conference on the Caucasus situation will be held on October 15 in Geneva.

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