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Russia supports S.Ossetia, Abkhazia against Georgian peacekeepers

RIA Novosti

16/08/2008 14:29 MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia supports Abkhazia and South Ossetia in their decision against the presence of Georgian peacekeepers on their territories, a senior Russian military official said on Saturday.

"The president [of Russia] has clearly stated that after all that had happened neither Abkhazians, nor South Ossetians will accept Georgians as peacekeepers on their territories," said Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff.

Earlier this week South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said during a press conference with the Abkhaz leader in Moscow that no Georgian peacekeepers or international observers would be allowed in South Ossetia.

"Only Russian peacekeepers will be allowed in South Ossetia and Abkhazia," he said. "There will be no Georgian peacekeepers on South Ossetian territory."

Kokoity and the Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh signed a peace plan in Moscow during a meeting with the Russian president last Thursday. The French-brokered peace agreement, approved by Russia and Georgia Tuesday, requires an immediate ceasefire and troop withdrawal.

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