#1 'Putins Russian Army Grabs and Holds a Fifth of Georgia !"
08-12-2008, 07:21 PM
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Russia 'annexes' a fifth of Georgia, video .
Russia altered the balance of power in Europe when the Kremlin halted its attack on Georgia after its forces had effectively annexed 18 per cent of the country.
Russia's presence is still strong as clashes continue in Georgia despite claims of a peace deal being reached. ;
Russia closed its Five Day War in full control of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which total more than 4,800 square miles of the neighbouring state.
While Russian troops have been deployed in these enclaves since 1992, they have never previously controlled their entire territory.
Having achieved this by force, Moscow's terms for a permanent truce would cement its gains. The Kremlin has also demonstrated its indifference to western opinion and its willingness to use force to prevent a former Soviet republic from joining Nato.
President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia declared a ceasefire and agreed six principles for peace during a meeting in Moscow with President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, which currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Under these proposals, all forces must return to their positions at the outset of the war on August 7 and allow full access for humanitarian aid.
But Russia's foreign ministry had additional demands.
The Kremlin wants a buffer zone around South Ossetia and Abkhazia, from which all Georgian forces would be excluded. Russia also seeks a treaty guarantee that Georgia will never use force to recapture them.
These demands would safeguard what amounts to Moscow's de facto annexation of the two enclaves.
After the mauling suffered by his army during five days of fighting, President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia may have little choice but to agree.
Mr Sarkozy flew from Moscow to Georgia's capital, Tbilisi last night. He was expected to present his six points and Russia's additional demands to Mr Saakashvili. For his part, Georgia's leader declared a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday.
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