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The French president, Nicholas Sarkozy, today warned Russia of "serious consequences" if it failed to honour its pledge to begin withdrawing its troops from the separatist-held Georgian region of South Ossetia tomorrow.
Sarkozy's warning was reiterated by the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, as Russia came under intense international pressure to support the ceasefire it signed on Friday.
Sarkozy, who drafted the truce agreement in his role as EU president, warned the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, that failure to pull out under a ceasefire deal would have "serious consequences" for Russia's ties with the EU.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pentagon chief Robert Gates dismissed as "empty rhetoric" on Sunday Russian warnings that Moscow would target Poland for a possible military strike because Warsaw agreed to host part of a U.S. missile shield.
"Russia is not going to launch nuclear missiles at anybody," Defense Secretary Gates said on ABC News' "This Week." "The Poles know that. We know it."
Col-General Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the Russian general staff, told Interfax on Friday that Russian military doctrine would allow for a possible nuclear strike, after Warsaw agreed to deploy 10 interceptors at a site in Poland as part of the shield.
European leaders warned Russia today to withdraw forces rapidly from Georgia or face unspecified "consequences", as Moscow stalled on its pledges to honour a ceasefire and pull back thousands of troops from the Caucasus republic.
With the US and European governments due to meet on Tuesday to consider their options for the first time since the crisis erupted, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, threatened the Kremlin with an ultimatum for the first time, warning that more delays to a pullout "would have serious consequences on relations between Russia and the European Union".
The French warning echoed similar statements from the Americans in recent days, none of which appear to have rattled the Russians, whose forces remain in firm control of large tracts of Georgia well beyond the two separatist enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
"People are going to begin to wonder if Russia can be trusted," Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said today of the Russian failure to keep its promises.
Originally posted by princeofpeace
Russia has responded and said they will pull out beginning mid day on Monday. We'll see if it actually happens.
TBILISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Though Russia says it will begin pulling back its troops from Georgia on Monday, it's unclear how long the redeployment will take, and a Russian lawmaker has compared the situation to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev told French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday that Russia would start pulling back its forces from Georgia on Monday, his office said.
Sarkozy, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, brokered a cease-fire between Russia and Georgia.
Russian troops will begin withdrawing to a buffer zone and into the breakaway province of South Ossetia as stipulated by the cease-fire, Medvedev's office said.
Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
...it should be dealt with. Not with threats though.
Indeed, and if those threats along with provocations are meant to incite the Russians what is the gain from it?
Originally posted by ZeroKnowledge
I do not know, of course. But i can't even think of any good reason why this mess evolved the way it did.
Why Saakashvilli choose to attack?
"We will also have to determine if Russia's intervention against its Georgian neighbor was a brutal and excessive response," he said.
Western pressure has been increasing on Moscow to withdraw its forces under the cease-fire deal over South Ossetia, one of Georgia's two separatist provinces.
The U.S. and France have accused Russia of defying the truce, as Russian tanks and troops continued to roam freely across a wide swath of Georgian territory.