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Russia agrees troop withdrawal from Georgia heartland
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Tense in ties

Sarkozy arrived in Moscow Monday for talks with Medvedev on the Caucasus situation that was tense due to the military conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Sarkozy and the EU delegation, including European Commission President Manuel Barroso and foreign policy and security chief Javier Solana, are expected to head for Tbilisi following talks in Moscow.

The Russian-Georgian conflict further dampened Moscow's frozen relations with the West that has promised economic aid for Tbilisi.

The EU postponed talks with Russia on a new partnership agreement and the US-led NATO broke military cooperation with the Kremlin following the conflict.

In fact, observers believe that the fragile Russian-Georgian relations were a result of Tbilisi's bid for NATO membership to which Moscow objects as well as Moscow's support to the pro-Russia breakaway regions.

At the press conference following the talks, Medvedev appreciated EU's mediation, labeling the 27-member bloc a "key partner", but insisted that Moscow's decisions were "the only way to save people."

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.  

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