Russians Pull Back, But West Not Satisfied

'Peacekeeping' posts appear likely to remain on Georgian soil
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 3:14 PM CDT
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev waves on his departure from Vladikavkaz, capital of North Ossetia on Aug. 19, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Having withdrawn from the Georgian city of Gori, Russia said tonight it is in full compliance with a cease-fire agreement, the New York Times reports. Despite criticism from the US and France, nations that helped broker the deal, Moscow continues to occupy the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, plus perimeter posts on Georgian soil—installations it says are permanent and part of a “peacekeeping” mission.

“Russia is not in compliance and that Russia needs to come into compliance now,” a US spokesman said, criticizing Moscow for subverting the spirit of the deal. The NATO members find particularly disturbing is a continued Russian presence on Georgia’s main East-West highway, a crucial trade route Moscow could disrupt to destabilize President Mikheil Saakashvili’s government.