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Aug. 22, 2008
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U.S. Will Rebuild Georgian Army
Russia plans to finish equipping eight peacekeepers checkpoints in the security zone on the border of Georgia and South Ossetia today. Moscow has given assurances that no more than 500 soldiers will serve as peacekeepers. Our peacekeepers plan is to equip about eight posts on the inner border of the security zone on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated. A contingent will be posted at each of them The remaining units that were sent to the region to reinforce the peacekeepers will be withdrawn into South Ossetia.
Tbilisi reacted skeptically to that announcement. Georgia claims that, contrary to the settlement plan, Russian forces are not leaving Georgia. Eyewitnesses say that Russian soldiers are building an armored vehicles park, which implies a long-term presence. Secretary of the Georgian National Security Council Alexander Lomaya said that the Russian forces are only putting on the appearance of leaving Gori. He said they did the same thing at the port of Poti, where they returned after Georgian coast guards had moved into the city and arrested them. According to Lomaya, the Georgian coast guards are still being held.

Romanian President Trajan Basescu arrived in Tbilisi yesterday to express his support for Georgia. He repeated the claim that Georgia needed rapid accession to NATO membership. Georgian government sources said that Basescu showed lively interest in the details of the South Ossetian conflict when he spoke with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. NATO special representative in the South Caucasus Robert Simmons was also in Tbilisi yesterday. He said that NATO supports Georgias bid for membership. Simmons was accompanied by U.S. Gen. John Craddock, who called Georgia a partner in the fight against terrorism and promised U.S. aid to restore its military.

All the Article in Russian as of Aug. 22, 2008

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