Home International Medvedev praises Sarkozy’s role in South Ossetia ceasefire

Medvedev praises Sarkozy’s role in South Ossetia ceasefire

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy played a “big role in solving the Georgian-South Ossetian crisis”, the Kremlin said in a statement.

As Russia marked the anniversary of the start of hostilities between Georgia and Russia in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia Aug 8, Medvedev said in a message to the French leader that the Aug 12 ceasefire agreement, brokered by Sarkozy, remains the only “code of conduct” in force in the Caucasus region.

“France’s participation as EU president in our efforts to stop (Georgian President Mikheil) Saakashvili’s uncontrolled aggression was effective and achieved results,” the statement said.

Some 162 civilians and 67 Russian service personnel, including peacekeepers, were killed when Georgia attacked the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia last August. Russia reacted swiftly expelling Georgian troops from South Ossetia and forcing them deep into Georgia amid accusations on both sides of human right abuses.

Medvedev also praised the role of the EU’s 200-strong mission, which has been deployed along the Georgia border since last October, to observe the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

The statement also touched upon the new “geopolitical situation” in the region as a result of Saakashvili’s policies. The main task Medvedev said was ensuring peace and safety in the Caucasus.

Some 800 Russian troops are currently deployed in South Ossetia as part of a bilateral security agreement between Tskhinvali and Moscow.

Russia has repeatedly called for Georgia to sign a non-use of force pact which Moscow claims would avoid a repeat of last summer’s tragedy.