Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev has told his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy that Russian troops will start pulling out of Georgia from midday on Monday.
Sarkozy, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union, warned Medvedev of “serious consequences” to EU-Russian relations if the peace agreement between Moscow and Tbilisi is not observed.
The French and Russian leaders agreed that international observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe should be deployed as soon as possible.
The Georgians had complained that Russian troops were not withdrawing but instead were redeploying in the area and fortifying their positions.
Earlier, the local Russian commander on the frontline had told reporters that they were starting to pull out, but in Moscow the Russian Defence Ministry said the withdrawal had not yet begun and “the decision would be taken as the situation in the region is stabilised.”