Tuesday, 12 Aug, 2008 Politics

Russian President Orders Cease Fire in Georgia


According to Interfax, Russian news agency, the president of Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, has ordered a cease fire and end of the military operations in Georgia.

"I have reached a decision to halt the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace," Interfax quoted Dmitry Medvedev as saying.

"The Aggressor in South Ossetia has been punished and has incurred very significant losses," said Dmitry Medvedev, according to Interfax.

Prior to the announcement of the Russian president, the Foreign Minister of Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, stated at a press conference that Moscow would only stop its military operations in the region if Georgia drew out its armed forces from South Ossetia and agreed to stop using force. He also added that Moscow did not trust the Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili. Lavrov added that "barbaric and brutal action" of Saakashvili shattered trust in Georgia.

The Russian Foreign Minister also criticized the West. He expressed his disappointment in Western powers for not persuading Georgia to stop its military actions in South Ossetia last Thursday.

It would be worth mentioning that after the meeting with the Foreign Ministers of France and Finland on Monday, the Georgian president offered a cease-fire note. Before meeting Saakashvili, the French President and the EU leader Nicolas Sarkozy arranged a meeting with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The permanent ambassador of Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, stated that Russia could not sign the cease-fire note, which was drafted by the French, due to the fact that it did not include a "series number" of areas. The president of the United States George W. Bush outlined that Russia's military action in Georgia had "substantially damaged Russia's standing in the world."

In the meantime, Russian army went further into Georgia overnight and focused on cities located outside South Ossetia and Abkhazia. According to Georgian officials, from the separatist region of South Ossetia, Russian armed forces advanced towards the city of Gori. Georgia said that Russian troops were already on the boarder of the city.

It is worth mentioning that the city of Gori represents an strategic location for the communication systems of Georgia. According to Russian and Georgian officials, Russian armed forces were also present in Senaki, located in western Georgia, moving from Abkhazia.

The Associated Press said that Alexander Lomaia, the head of security in Georgia, on Tuesday mentioned about the fact that Russian forces left Senaki but still were present on the boarders of Zugdidi and around Gori. According to Lomaia, one of the Russian aircrafts bombed the city of Gori on Tuesday morning and its main targets were the city's administrative buildings as well as the street market located in the center of Gori, reported Associated Press.

The separatist region of South Ossetia is located inside Georgia but has its own autonomous government. The majority of people from South Ossetia vote for unification with North Ossetia, which is part of Russian Federation. Thus they hope South Ossetia will be a part of the Russian Federation as well.

The Russian government provides support to the government of South Ossetia. Most people from South Ossetia possess Russian passports and Russia calls them Russian citizens.

Source: CNN

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