Going nowhere fast appears to be the attitude of the Russian military units in Georgia. Moscow signed a peace deal on Saturday, President Dimitri Medvedev adding his name to a French peace plan already signed by Georgia and its two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Osettia.
It allows Russian forces to take “additional security measures” which, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained, might mean the withdrawal will take time.
“Additional numbers of monitors, and there needs to be a lot of them, should observe the security zone in order to track any possible threats from Georgia” he said.
President Mikhail Saakashvili insisted the Russians should now only be operating on the South Osettian border, not deep within Georgia or in any of its major urban centres.
But Lavrov has already said Georgia and its allies could forget about the country’s “territorial integrity”, which has been overtaken by events on the ground, now crawling with irregular Osettian and Abkhaz units loyal to Russia.