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Medvedev says Georgia ceasefire plan 'implemented'

RIA Novosti

14/11/2008 17:45 NICE, November 14 (RIA Novosti) - The terms of the so-called Medvedev-Sarkozy ceasefire plan that ended a five-day war between Russia and Georgia in August have been fully implemented, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday.

"The Medvedev-Sarkozy plan has been fully and properly, as legal experts say, implemented," he told journalists after a Russia-EU summit in Nice, France.

French President Nikolas Sarkozy, who holds the European Union presidency, drew up the revised plan with Medvedev in Moscow in early September after an initial ceasefire deal had halted fighting. Hostilities broke out on August 8 after Georgian forces attacked the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian republic, as independent states on August 26.

Medvedev said after Friday's Russia-EU summit that Russia had had no choice but to recognize the independence of the rebel republics, and that it would not alter its decision.

"Our recognition remains final and irrevocable," the Russian leader said.

Sarkozy said that Russia had fulfilled "most" of the plan.

"I told Mr. Medvedev that the Russian Federation had fulfilled most of the commitments it undertook," he said, adding that the main thing was that the troops had been withdrawn.

Although Russia has withdrawn its troops from "undisputed" parts of Georgia, issues remain over the number of soldiers it has stationed in the two rebel regions.

Despite opposition by Lithuania over the resumption of talks, the European Union and Russia agreed on Friday to restart negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev hailed the end of the delay in the talks.

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