Georgia Signs Rice's Ceasefire Agreement

Deal calls for immediate withdrawal of Russian troops
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2008 11:35 AM CDT
Condoleezza Rice and Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili meet in Tbilisi, on Friday, Aug. 15, 2008.    (AP Photo/Irakli Gedenidze, pool)
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(Newser) – Mikheil Saakashvili signed a US-brokered ceasefire agreement today following a 5-hour meeting with Condoleezza Rice, CNN reports. As he signed, the Georgian president vowed to “never, ever surrender” to the “21st-century barbarians.” Rice said says she has been assured Dmitri Medvedev will sign the deal, which calls for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, independent monitors, and a reconstruction plan for Georgia’s economy.

Saakashvili seemed to have reservations about the deal, which allows Russian troops to remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The announcement was delayed 90 minutes as he and Rice negotiated. Hours earlier, President Bush had pledged support for Georgia. “We will not cast them aside,” he said, warning Russia, “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”