From left, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso meet in Medvedev's residence outside Moscow on Monday.
Russian troops will pull out of Georgian territory outside of the disputed areas in South Ossetia and Abkhazia after European monitors deploy next month, Russia's president said Monday.
International talks on the conflict in Georgia will also be held beginning Oct. 15 in Geneva, President Dmitry Medvedev said, adding 200 European Union monitors will be deployed to South Ossetia no later than Oct. 1.
Medvedev spoke Monday at a Moscow news conference after talks with visiting French President Nicholas Sarkozy.
Sarkozy called for total withdrawal of Russian troops, but the agreement between the leaders allows Russia to maintain troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russian troops will pull out of the area near the Black Sea port of Poti and nearby areas in the next seven days, said Medvedev.
He said he received a "guarantee" from France and the EU that Georgia will not use force against Russian troops.
A month after the five-day war, Russian troops remain entrenched deep inside Georgian territory. Georgia and the West have accused Russia of failing to honour its pledge to withdraw its troops to positions held before the fighting broke out Aug. 7.
But Russia has said those troops are peacekeepers and that they are allowed under the accord to help maintain security around Georgia's breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Moscow has recognized the two regions as independent states, a move denounced in Georgia and the West. The regions make up roughly 20 per cent of Georgia's territory, and include kilometres of prime coastline along the Black Sea.
Medvedev insisted that Russia is complying with terms of the ceasefire that Sarkozy negotiated last month.
Sarkozy suggested that Monday's talks were difficult but "what was accomplished today, it was rather significant," referring in particular to the decision to send European observers.
Georgia takes Russia to international court
While an agreement was reached in Moscow, Georgia accused Russia of a "campaign of harassment and persecution" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Monday.
Georgia urged the International Court of Justice in The Hague to issue an order requiring Russia to stop killings and forced expulsions.
Russia has similarly accused Georgia of crimes against humanity, citing Georgia's massive attack last month on South Ossetia that killed Russian peacekeepers and dozens of civilians.
The 15-judge tribunal, unofficially known as the World Court, could take months to decide whether it will hear Georgia's case.
"Sarkozy suggested that Monday's talks were difficult but "what was accomplished today, it was rather significant," referring in particular to the decision to send European observers."
^ Why was it so damn difficult.... South Os. got attacked by Georgia, russian peacekeepers were killed, Russia sent in their military and left some behind to maintain order (Which seemed to be taken place) and they found it difficult to send in EU peacekeepers/observers? It's either Russian peacekeepers or EU peacekeepers, but somebody's gotta stay there in order to prevent Georgia from attacking and killing civilians again.
You know, I find it pretty funny when the whole world thinks Israel was justified in blowing the hell up out of civilians over one soldier kidnapped.... yet when Russian peacekeepers are killed, Russia's the bad guy.