Current EU president France, which brokered a ceasefire between Russia and Georgia, has called a special summit meeting of EU leaders to discuss the ongoing crisis. The meeting scheduled for September 1 in Brussels will also review the bloc’s ties with Russia following its recent military intervention in pro-Western Georgia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ties with Moscow could be scaled back if Russian troops are not fully withdrawn from Georgia. Hundreds of people were killed and thousands left homeless in the conflict.
Russian forces are still deployed in positions near the vital Georgian port of Poti on the Black Sea as well as in Georgia’s heartland although the bulk of the forces were removed on Friday. The Kremlin sent in troops on August 8 to crush Georgia’s bid to retake the pro-Moscow rebel region of South Ossetia.
The US has delivered 55 tonnes of humanitarian aid aboard the warship USS McFaul as a gesture of support for Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili.
The destroyer docked at Batoumi, in a zone not controlled by the Russians, and received a warm reception by the local people.
Washington and the EU fear the continued Russian presence in Georgia will cement the country’s ethnic partition and undermine Saakashvili’s pro-Western government.