After five days of intense fighting, Russia and Georgia have approved an EU peace plan brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and aimed at ending the conflict between the two nations.
However, the agreement faces a number of obstacles, the most high-profile of which is the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
“President Mevedev has agreed to the stipulations during the course of two telephone conversations I have had with him today. We will open negotiations on the future provisions for security and stability in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Sarkozy told reporters at a Kremlin press conference.
For Georgia’s Mikhail Saakashvili, there can only be one outcome to the territorial considerations.
He said: “We don’t want to leave any doubt, and I think President Sarkozy agrees with that, that the territorial integrity and belonging of South Ossetia to Abkhazia to Georgia can never be put under doubt. This is out of the question.”
Meanwhile, separatists continue to fight Georgian troops in Abkhazia’s Kodori Gorge, while Tbilisi has asked the International Court of Justice to investigate Moscow over allegations of ethnic cleansing. Georgia has also said it will quit the Moscow-dominated Commonwealth of independent states.