Moscow insists security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia "is assured by Russian military contingents" and opposes the deployment of European Union monitors to the two breakaway regions of Georgia.
Russia opposes the deployment of European Union monitors in two Georgian rebel provinces and will enforce security there itself, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.
"Security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is assured by Russian military contingents after the recognition of their independence by Russia," Lavrov said at a press conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
"As far as the European Union monitors are concerned, we believe the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan should be respected. It says they should be deployed in areas adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Lavrov said.
The European monitoring mission, comprising 225 unarmed observers, deployed in Georgia on October 1 as part of a ceasefire agreement agreed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to end an August war between Georgia and Russia.
The EU has called for its monitors to be allowed into the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to monitor the ceasefire, but Moscow and rebel leaders have so far refused.
Russia and the breakaway regions have criticised the monitoring mission, with Moscow accusing observers of taking a "light view" of alleged ceasefire violations by the Georgians.
Russian forces moved into Georgia on August 8 to repel a Georgian military attempt to retake South Ossetia, whose breakaway administration had long enjoyed extensive support from Moscow.
Sporadic violence has continued despite the ceasefire, under which Russian forces later withdrew to within South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which Moscow has recognised as independent states.
Date created : 2008-10-28